Rohingya Reduced To Drug Smuggling

Rohingya refugees fleeing anti-Muslim persecution in Myanmar are being exploited by the Arakan Army to smuggle synthetic drugs into Bangladesh. The army, which is demanding greater autonomy for Myanmar’s Rakhine State, uses money from the drug sales to purchase arms and ammunition. It moves the drugs from production centres in Myanmar’s interior to Rakhine State, where the Rohingya make the arduous trek along refugee migration routes into neighbouring Bangladesh.

31 May 2020

Australian publisher jailed in Myanmar

A Myanmar court on Wednesday sentenced a veteran Australian media publisher to 13 years in jail after a police raid uncovered a stash of drugs at his home last year. Ross Dunkley, 60, has long had links with the media industry across Southeast Asia, co-founding English language newspaper The Myanmar Times when the country was in the tight grip of a military dictatorship. He also used to be a co-owner of Cambodia's Phnom Penh Post. Police arrested him, his busin

8 August 2019

Myanmar drug lab raids met with artillery fire

Raids on jungle drug labs have been met with heavy artillery fire, Myanmar narcotics police said Thursday, in an area riddled with armed groups accused of pumping out much of the world's methamphetamine.Myanmar is under increasingly intense pressure from its neighbours to close down the meth labs festooning lawless parts of Shan State, the heart of the notorious "Golden Triangle".A major crackdown kicked off last month in Kutkai township, northern Shan, the army has said, where

2 August 2019

Pills, pangolins and purses

Despite the best efforts of law enforcement agencies and border management officials, organised crime is as rampant as ever in Southeast Asia.Apart from the thriving drug trade – the methamphetamine market alone is now estimated to be worth up to US$61 billion annually – human trafficking, migrant smuggling and the illegal wildlife trade are among the other pressing challenges which continue to plague the region according to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report released y

19 July 2019

300 kg meth bust in Vietnam

Vietnam police have busted a massive meth ring in a Ho Chi Minh City mansion allegedly run by a Chinese national who used a textile company as a cover for the operation, police and state media reported Thursday.Police on Wednesday stormed the luxury property in Vietnam's largest city, guarded with private security and outfitted with cameras during an hours-long raid which unearthed sacs of methamphetamine believed to have been smuggled in from Lao. Around 300 kilogrammes (kg) of

22 March 2019

The shocking methamphetamine trade in ASEAN

Porous borders and a lack of enforcement contributed to the record seizure of methamphetamine in East and Southeast Asia last year.Drug trade in the Golden Triangle – a region where the borders of Myanmar, Lao and Thailand meet – is booming thanks to an increase in transnational organised crime groups operating, manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine and other drugs in the region, according to a recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).Substantial quantitie

15 March 2019

Myanmar: Meth capital of the world

A report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) this week pointing out that Myanmar’s Shan State is one of the world’s largest producers of crystal methamphetamine is hardly surprising.There have been record seizures of meth in the last two years in ASEAN countries and the surrounding region – 1.6 tonnes in Indonesia, 1.2 tonnes in Malaysia, 788 kilograms (kg) in Thailand, 1.2 tonnes in Western Australia and 0.9 tonnes in Melbourne – all of which is thought to have come from Shan State.Autho

12 January 2019