Asia-Pacific drug trade thrives despite COVID-19 pandemic

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Asia-Pacific drug trade thrives despite COVID19 pandemic

BANGKOK - Illicit drug markets in the Asia-Pacific continue to expand and diversify and appear to be largely unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak, the United Nations said on Friday.

"While the world has shifted its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region." The relative stability of the drug market in much of the Asia-Pacific contrasts with the experience in North America and Europe, where tougher travel restrictions and border controls have disrupted supply chains and pushed prices higher.

Asian crime syndicates produce both potent crystal meth and less expensive tablets of meth mixed with caffeine known as yaba, or "crazy drug" in the Thai language.


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