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Asian Metals Trading Now Costs About $ 61 Billion, Without Ending the Crisis



The secret was enormous. Inside, there were more than 5 million methamphetamine pills – locally known as "crab" or "drug madness" – and 145 pounds (about 320 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine wrapped in large plastic bags. tens of millions of dollars, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It was the largest hidden police colonel, Dick Arringen, who commanded the unit, said he had ever seen – and, unbelievably, discovered he was not guarded. The UNODC report, published on Thursday, found that methamphetamine trade is now worth between $ 30 and $ 61 billion a year in Eastern and Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

This is $ 15 billion a year in 2010, the last time the UNODC estimates the value of the metropolitan trade in the region.

Meth is selling at the lowest prices, seizures do not seem to do much to control the operations of drug traffickers, and the crystal meth from the region feeds demand as far as New Zealand.

Jeremy Douglas, Regional Representative for UN-ODA Operations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region, called on governments around the world to "master the scale and importance of the problem."

If they do not, he warns,

"The region is being used and abused by organized crime to do business," said Douglas. "It's not hard to say that parts of it have become a playground."

  Armed Thai naval staff in a boat during a patrol on the Mekong River bordering Thailand and Laos on May 23rd. a boat during a patrol on the Mekong River bordering Thailand and Laos on May 23rd. </h3>
<div class= Experts say the boom in Southeast Asian industry is the result of a perfect storm of factors that have seen The wicked Shaan state in Myanmar is a methane factory in the region.
Many of the warlords, militias and rebel groups who gave up their separatist struggles in exchange for greater autonomy in recent decades have used this freedom to fund themselves through drug trafficking.
From the 1970s to the 1990s, they usually sell opium and heroin, but then transfer to synthetic drugs after realizing how much easier they can produce and more profitable they could, Douglas said. Easily import the necessary chemicals to make a moth. Poorly imposed money laundering measures allow the royal authorities to easily clean up their millions.

"The drug problem escalates with increased production of pills for psychotropic stimulants, ice (crystal mime alias), and precursors have been trafficked illegally from the borders of neighboring countries," said in a speech by Myanmar President Wine May 27 June , according to Burmese state media.

"The drug threat slowly destroys our society, destroys the lives of our young people and destroys the dignity and the future of our country," he said.

  Asia & s meth boom

In recent years another factor has moved the business.

Significant investments have been made on new highways and bridges in Southeast Asia, built to relocate products such as food and clothing. But these new routes are also used by smugglers to import chemicals and export the finished products John Cohen, a former head of strategic intelligence at the Australian Federal Police.

The R3A highway, for example, was opened in 2011 linking parts of Thailand and China via Laos. Although it is used to bring Chinese production to the markets to the south, since 2015, authorities have also expressed concern that drug traffickers use it to move with methane.

All of this combines the creation of what UNODC calls the "largest and most dynamic" methamphetamine market in the world, which has led to drug seizures reaching levels "unimaginable a decade ago." In 2018, the authorities confiscated a record 120 tons of crystal and methamphetamine in the Asia-Pacific region. More than half of these busts occurred in Thailand, where authorities seized over 515 million meth tablets, according to the UNODC.

But the problem is not limited to Thailand.

Laos and Malaysia also reported record busts in 2018, and in the first eight months of the year, Chinese authorities reported a 22-fold increase in Yunnan crystalline methamphetamine seizures. province compared to 2015

Lower prices

The UNODC report found that organized crime groups not only moved the "stunning" amounts of methane to meet demand – they are also trying to increase demand by flooding the region [19659004] This has prompted the prices of synthetic drugs, especially yam, to hit historic bottoms in Southeast Asia, according to the UNODC.

The tablets are sold for less than $ 1 for the price of a bottle of beer in some parts of Thailand. In the capital of Bangkok, Douglas said the yap pill costs about $ 1.50 – the same price as 20 years ago.

It is clear that record seizures have not worsened prices.

"The price is a good indicator of the supply, and it only shows that the supply is extremely high," said Douglas. "The increase in metallurgical production is continuing, and the factories coming out of Myanmar are working full-scale." [19659033] On June 5th, the Thai drug authorities held a press conference to announce the seizure of 1.5 tons of crystal meth ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190710231345-file-thai-drugs-03-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

Cheapest Pills usually transferred to Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar, but the organized crime groups have another, more profitable revenue stream

The crystal clear of the cleaner is taken to the ports and transported to richer markets such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea

While these four countries have a modest population, they account for about one-third of the market for methamphetamine of $ 61 billion, as UNODC says consumers are paying much more for drugs. for around $ 560 in Japan and $ 390 in South Korea in 2017, according to UNODC data released in March. There are no data in the report about Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, pure gram methamphetamine costs about $ 70 in March 2017, according to the US National Drug Agency for 2018, although prices vary regionally and depend on drug purity.

Note: According to the UNODC, the arrows represent the general direction of traffic and do not match the exact sources of production or production, are not real roads and are not weighted for significance / scale. The limits, names and names used do not imply formal approval or acceptance by the United Nations.

While the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are leading blood-blooded drug wars in the United States, attempt to deal with this problem, other countries focus on borders and customs authorities.

But Thailand emerged as a true front

This is due both to the proximity of the country to the production centers in Myanmar and to the renewed focus of the anti-trade authorities.

At the beginning of 2019, the Thai authorities launched an "intensification campaign" on the northern border of Myanmar, according to Douglas of the UNODC. Here begins the main road used to transport the meta through Thailand.

But this effort has just sent enterprising traffickers to find new routes. Thai policemen say some operations are now sending their metro to the east using the 800-kilometer part of the Mekong River that separates Thailand from Laos. Three days after the discovery of the cave in northern Thailand, the police seized 100,000 pills at a checkpoint in Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand, bordering on southern Myanmar.

"These routes are much more remarkable this year than ever," Kanchanaburi's path in the past was used very little, and this is very clear this year, which surprised everyone, "said Douglas of the UNODC, that he discovered that "large quantities" of methane are transferred through Laos – which also borders Myanmar – to Vietnam, which has a wide coastline to transport to nearby markets such as Malaysia and the Philippines, but also for Australia and New

Cohen, the former federal police officer in Australia, said that narco-bangs have transformed the traditional "narco-economic perspective" by creating a "new world of oversupply."

The ability to simply increase production has allowed methane manufacturers to write off large seizures as a cost for doing business , "Cohen said.

"Here we see very clear evidence that current law enforcement strategies have no impact on supply or organized crime at a regional level," he said.

"There must be a clear rethink of what we are doing."

CNN Jake Kwon in Seoul, Junko Ogura in Tokyo and journalist Vee Intarakatug in Bangkok contributed to the report.


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