torsdag 20. august 2020

Laos is a missing link in Asia's fight against organized crime

Synthetic drug production has exploded in Southeast Asia. The volume of methamphetamine seized in the region surged around sevenfold in the five years to 2019. Billions of dollars are being made each year, and the impact is being felt across the Asia-Pacific region. The majority of those drugs are from the Golden Triangle, the border region where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet.

Myanmar's Shan State is a particularly important production hub, and in response, Myanmar authorities have conducted major operations against drug labs and complexes in places controlled by independent militias, seizing record amounts of drugs and contraband.

The country's neighbors are also taking action. Thailand has also tasked paramilitary police and the military to confront traffickers along the country's northwestern border with Myanmar, and China is trying to stem the flow of drugs from Myanmar into neighboring Yunnan province. Beijing is also trying to stop precursor chemicals, the ingredients needed to make synthetic drugs, from leaving China illegally.