I have seen exactly the same thing. Every stone I’ve seen brought
home from Afghanistan by service members and contractors is not what
it is supposed to be, is heavily treated (lots of glass filled really
crummy rubies), or synthetic.
If they don’t have the training and/or equipment to identify and
grade tell your friend to not buy anything they can’t
afford to find out later is worthless glass.
The Afghan people may have some real hurdles to overcome, but for a
lot of people selling mastering the unhindered free
enterprise system sure isn’t one of them.