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Meth Factories in the Golden Triangle Produce 280 Million Pills Daily

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Meth Factories in the Golden Triangle

At least 280 million meth pills are produced daily in factories outside Thailand’s northern border in the golden triangle, according to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, who acknowledged that eradicating them is difficult.

Mr. Somsak stated yesterday that approximately seven groups of meth pill factories are dispersed outside of Thailand’s northern border in the Golden Triangle, with a combined daily production capacity of 280 million pills.

(UNODC), The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Jeremy Douglas says, “over the past year, organized crime syndicates and armed groups have taken advantage of the pandemic and political instability in the Golden Triangle and border areas of Myanmar to expand production.”

“External to the Triangle, there are now very few drug labs, the supply continues to increase, and governments and agencies continue to report the same source.”

Mr. Somsak stated that it is beyond the government’s authority to suppress the factories.

“The authorities can prevent [trafficking] and apprehend [criminals] through the legal means of seizing their assets and dismantling their networks,” he explained.

According to him, officials have received minor information about drug networks, but informants fear retaliation.

Like a blockchain system, the government is establishing a database to store information received from individuals while protecting their identities, he said.

Mr. Somsak stated that the system is undergoing anti-hacking testing and that he anticipates its release before the end of the year.

Last year, one billion tablets of methamphetamine were seized across Asia amid warnings that political instability and conflict are allowing drug production in the so-called Golden Triangle to surge to record levels.

The haul of 1.008 billion tablets, weighing approximately 91 tonnes, was a portion of regional seizures totalling 172 tonnes. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, that was roughly 7 times the amount seized a decade ago.

The agency’s regional representative, Jeremy Douglas, cautioned, “East Asia will need a radical policy shift to address this issue; otherwise, it will continue to grow.”

Production is concentrated in the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet.

Since Myanmar’s 1 February military coup, the complex balance of power in the Golden Triangle, a region dominated by warlords, armed militias, and drug traffickers, has been thrown into disarray, according to law enforcement officials.

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