The discovery of 55.6 million methamphetamine pills, hidden in a truck supposed to transport beer in Laos, became the largest seizure of narcotics ever recorded in Asia, according to the United Nations (UN). The pills, as well as 1,537 kilograms of methamphetamine crystals “Constitute a record for a single seizure in the region”, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“This is three times more than all methamphetamine tablets seized by Laos last year, and almost a third for crystal methamphetamine”, said Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the UN agency. However, he did not specify the weight of this seizure, which is usually disseminated by the authorities.
A market in “constant increase”
The Laotian police officers carried out this immense seizure in the province of Bokeo, in the heart of the region known as the Golden Triangle, between Burma, Laos and Thailand, where paramilitary groups and drug traffickers control the territory and manufacture since decades this drug in clandestine laboratories.
Drug trafficking in the region profited from the February coup in Burma, due to the halt to the legal economy. In its last report, in June, UNODC found “A steady increase in the methamphetamine market in East and South-East Asia”, which confirms this entry.
Powdered methamphetamine, and especially in its crystallized form, is potent and highly addictive. From the remote regions of the Golden Triangle, traffickers transport it primarily to Australia or Japan.