UN says organised crime shifting drugs routes in Southeast Asia

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime says almost 151 tonnes of methamphetamine seized in Southeast, East Asia in 2022.

The synthetic drugs market in Southeast and East Asia is becoming more diverse, the United Nations has warned, and drug trafficking syndicates are using new smuggling routes to ship large quantities of methamphetamine and other drugs throughout the region.

Close to 151 tonnes of methamphetamine was seized in Southeast and East Asia last year, as well as a record 27.4 tonnes of ketamine, marking a 167 percent increase in the seizure of the powerful sedative compared to 2021, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on Friday.

Launching its latest report on the situation of synthetic drugs in the two regions, the UNODC noted that record methamphetamine seizures have been logged almost every year in Southeast and East Asia over the past decade though 2022 showed a levelling in drugs seized back to pre-COVID-19 quantities. But this may have less to do with reduction in production and supply than traffickers turning to new smuggling routes to avoid interception.

In full: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/6/2/un-says-organised-crime-shifting-drugs-routes-in-southeast-asia

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