Authored by Abdullah Mohammadi, Ruta Nimkar and Emily Savage, this publication in the Migration Research Series analyses the perceptions that Afghan smugglers have of themselves and of their relationships with their communities in Afghanistan. The paper is based on interviews with 23 smugglers in three sites in Afghanistan and considers community dynamics and low-level smugglers rather than high-level organizers of smuggling networks. It highlights that smuggling networks have a long-standing and respected place in Afghan culture. The paper also provides an analysis of factors that affect perceptions of and trust in smugglers among Afghan society. It concludes with some implications to support policy responses and programming concerning migrant smuggling and migration in Afghanistan.