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September 1, 2021

Since first taking power in Afghanistan in the 1990s, the Taliban have been involved in the mass production and distribution of opium, which is extracted from the country's seemingly infinite amount of poppy fields.

In fact, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates over 80% of global opium and heroin supplies are sourced from Afghanistan. The gross worth of Afghan opiate exports is estimated at between $1.5 and $3 billion per year.

Forbes spoke with two experts in the area of Afghanistan's illicit drug trade to learn more about how the Taliban's cartel became so wealthy and what could happen to drug exports now that the organization has retaken power in the country.

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