Myanmar Police Seize SE Asia's Largest Ever Haul of Synthetic Drugs
Police in Myanmar have reportedly seized the largest ever haul of syntheitc drugs in South East Asia after a three month operation.
The quantity, said to be 'off the charts' included more than 200m methamphetamine tablets, 500kg of crystal methamphetamine and 300kg of heroin, as well as more than 3,700 litres of methylfentanyl, a product used to make fentanyl.
Thirty three people were arrested in connection with the drug operations.
Myanmar is thought to be the largest global source of methamphetamine, so much so that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has warned that this development suggests Southeast Asia is poised to become a significant source of synthetic drugs for other parts of the world. A new report from UNODC warns that the synthetic drug market in East and Southeast Asia continues to expand and diversify, and the price of methamphetamine has dropped to the lowest level in a decade as the supply has surged.
Released on May 15th, the report titled “Synthetic Drugs in East and Southeast Asia: Latest Developments and Challenges”, confirms that the variety and volume of synthetic drugs have increased in the past year. “It is hard to imagine that organized crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have”, remarked Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. “While the world has shifted its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”