Cambodia emerges as major meth producer amid pandemic

To dodge Covid-19 restrictions, crime groups increasingly transported drugs through Laos.

Drug traffickers in East and Southeast Asia found ways to evade Covid-19 curbs to boost trade and diversify production, with Cambodia emerging as a large scale source for methamphetamine, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The trafficking of methamphetamine or meth, by far the region’s most popular drug, suffered a short-lived disruption during the height of the pandemic but rebounded to a higher level than a year before, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report.

Authorities in Asia seized a record of almost 170 tonnes of meth last year, up 19% from 2019, the report said.

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