Thailand: Southeast Asia’s so-called Golden Triangle has long been an infamous hotspot for drug trafficking, with Myanmar, Laos and Thailand’s porous borders and lax local policing allowing illegal substances to slip across.
A record one billion Methamphetamine pills were seized in East and Southeast Asia last year, the UN said Monday, as crime gangs exploited the Covid-19 pandemic and instability in coup-hit Myanmar to boost their activities.
Southeast Asia’s so-called Golden Triangle has long been an infamous hotspot for drug trafficking, with Myanmar, Laos and Thailand’s porous borders and lax local policing allowing illegal substances to slip across.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said law enforcement netted nearly 172 tonnes of Methamphetamine — approximately seven times more than a decade ago — and the surging supply has sent street prices in Thailand and Malaysia crashing to all-time lows.
“The scale and reach of the Methamphetamine and synthetic drug trade in East and Southeast Asia is staggering,” Jeremy Douglas of UNODC said in a statement.
He said crime syndicates and armed groups had capitalised on the region’s political instability and the pandemic to make dramatic gains.
While meth pill figures rocketed, the UNODC also noted a slight downturn in crystal Methamphetamine, with 79 tonnes seized compared to 82 tonnes in 2020 — but still dramatically up from the less than 10 tonnes taken a decade ago. Myanmar’s northern Shan state remains the region’s primary source of Meth, with the drug increasingly shipped to Laos, then Thailand before reaching Malaysia, where it is trafficked onward to countries throughout the Asia Pacific, the report said.
– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES