Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


UN: Southeast Asia’s meth gangs making $60 billion a year

UN: Southeast Asia’s meth gangs making $60 billion a year

ASEAN: Southeast Asia’s drug gangs are making over $60 billion a year pumping out record amounts of methamphetamine, then laundering the profits through the region’s mushrooming number of casinos, a UN study showed Thursday.


By AFP

Friday 19 July 2019, 10:15AM


Reports say methamphetamine, both in crystal form and in pills, have become the new cash cow for drug gangs in the region. Photo: AFP

Reports say methamphetamine, both in crystal form and in pills, have become the new cash cow for drug gangs in the region. Photo: AFP

Crime groups are also piggybacking on improved infrastructure to hustle Made-In-Myanmar meth to neighbouring drug markets, and as far as Australia and Japan, the report said.

The study, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), warned this was sending street prices tumbling and spurring an addiction crisis.

"(A) safe, conservative estimate of over $60 billion a year," is being hoovered up by the meth lords of Southeast Asia alone, Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC's regional representative, told reporters in Bangkok at the report's launch.

Seizures of methamphetamine - both the caffeine-cut 'yaba' tablets and the much more addictive and potent crystal meth or 'ice' version - had tripled over the last five years, according to the report.

Last year 120 tonnes (120,000 kilogrammes) of meth was seized in East and Southeast Asia, up from around 40 tonnes in 2013, the report said.

The figures were based on drug seizure figures and regional police intelligence.

Much of the meth is originating from the labs of remote and lawless Northern Shan State in Myanmar, which has rebooted the 'Golden Triangle' drug trade from its staple of heroin.

"This region is the epicentre of the global synthetic drug trade," Douglas said.

Around $10 billion annually continues to be made from Golden Triangle heroin, with China the world's largest market, according to the report.

But meth is the new cash cow.

The study shows increasingly sophisticated and diverse drug gangs are shuttling it across Asia - cooked by Taiwanese chemists, orchestrated by shadowy financiers from Thailand, Macau and China, and run by Myanmar producers who brand their 'ice' in tea-packages.

Outlaw motorcycle gangs from Australia and New Zealand are getting in on the act moving massive shipments from Southeast Asia to their domestic markets, where the price surges, the "Transnational Organized Crime in Southeast Asia: Evolution, Growth and Impact" study added.

The illicit billions are being cleaned in the increasing number of casinos springing up across the Mekong area - from Myanmar, Laos to Cambodia, according to the study. 

"The producers and traffickers that dominate launder through cash based businesses like casinos, hotels, as well as real estate," Douglas added.

The report also said tens of billions of dollars were being spun from counterfeit medicines, clothes and cigarettes, as well as the illegal wildlife and timber trade and human trafficking.

Thailand sits at the heart of Mekong area, with hard to police land and sea borders making it a sluice for drugs, wildlife and counterfeit goods.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Fire scare in Patong as restaurant catches alight

Amazing how a high ranking RTP Officer can lie that he can't recall the name of the restaurant. ...(Read More)


Rewards for reporting road violations now offered in Phuket

So, by accurately turning in violators, a person could earn thousands every day. Right? So many q...(Read More)


Fire scare in Patong as restaurant catches alight

"Is there no end to their ability ?"Haha, compared with that select circle of a few wannab...(Read More)


Rewards for reporting road violations now offered in Phuket

Wow! Will a non-Thai be able to do it, too? Is a work permit needed since this can easily be a f...(Read More)


Missing kayak couple search shifts focus to coastal areas

Absence of professional media relation officers/ informants in Phuket Government put Government alwa...(Read More)


Missing kayak couple search shifts focus to coastal areas

Huh, was there until now no 'focus' already on coastal areas and nearby islands as well? Are...(Read More)


Mother holds out hope for daughter missing on kayak

What a deputy mayor is doing in a search heli instead of 1 more professional searcher is a riddle fo...(Read More)


Fire scare in Patong as restaurant catches alight

And great that because of this 'grease fire' the Municipality Health Division starts to unde...(Read More)


Fire scare in Patong as restaurant catches alight

Great that Phuket police officers are not only structural enginners but trained Fire Investigation O...(Read More)


Central caves in to Phuket taxi drivers’ demands

Great step forward for the environment, smog combat and trafiic jams....(Read More)