Record billion meth pills seized in East, SE Asia: UN
A record one billion methamphetamine pills were seized in East and Southeast Asia last year, the UN said yesterday, as crime gangs exploited the Covid-19 pandemic and instability in coup-hit Myanmar to boost their activities. Southeast Asia's so-called Golden Triangle has long been an infamous hotspot for drug trafficking, with Myanmar, Laos and Thailand's porous borders and lax local policing allowing illegal substances to slip across. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said law enforcement netted nearly 172 tonnes of methamphetamine -- approximately seven times more than a decade ago -- and the surging supply has sent street prices in Thailand and Malaysia crashing to all-time lows. "The scale and reach of the methamphetamine and synthetic drug trade in East and Southeast Asia is staggering," Jeremy Douglas of UNODC said in a statement.