Methamphetamine is growing problem in South-east Asia

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Illegal trade in the synthetic drug is increasing in the region


  • The region’s governments will tighten regulation of casinos, significant conduits for illicit money flows from the methamphetamine trade.
  • Since many of Myanmar’s armed groups are involved in drug trafficking, the country’s peace process could be key to managing the problem.
  • The Philippines may point to its reportedly low rate of growth in seizures to defend the government’s controversial ‘drug war’.


A report titled ‘Transnational Organized Crime in Southeast Asia’, published last month by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said some 120 tonnes of methamphetamine were seized in the region last year.

Manufacture of the synthetic drug is especially associated with northern Myanmar. The report suggests that a crackdown in China has prompted drug syndicates previously based there to focus on production elsewhere. The illegal trade in methamphetamine across the Asia-Pacific region is now worth up to 61 billion dollars annually.

ASEAN will aim to step up coordination over border management, hoping to curb transnational trafficking of methamphetamine in the region.


See SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Integration could worsen drug problem - July 20, 2017

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