Crackdown call on drug trade

China | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 9 Jan 2019

China must rein in methamphetamine-producing militias under its influence in eastern Myanmar and stem the flow of precursor chemicals fueling the multi-billion-dollar drug trade, the International Crisis Group says.

Myanmar's eastern Shan state, said to be the world's largest producer of meth, has hosted a flourishing narcotics trade for decades as a producer in the Golden Triangle. It is also the second biggest source country for opium and heroin after Afghanistan.

But many drugs networks have switched to synthetic methamphetamine pills - known as "yaba," the Thai for "crazy medicine" - and crystal meth or "ice," a much more potent and addictive version that is smoked or injected.

Myanmar militias provide a safe haven for the boom industry, while precursor chemicals flow from China, the ICG says in a report released yesterday. And drug production and profits are now so vast they are the "center of its political economy," the NGO adds.

So the ICG is urging China to crack down on the illegal trade of precursors across its border.

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