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Laos police seize record drugs haul in Golden Triangle

Laos police seize record drugs haul in Golden Triangle

10/28/2021 1:35:00 PM

Laos police seize record drugs haul in Golden Triangle

Lao police have seized a record haul of illicit drugs in the Golden Triangle region, two security sources in Thailand confirmed on Thursday, in what the United Nations said was Asia's largest single drug bust ever.

Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the discovery was "by far the largest seizure in the history of East and Southeast Asia."The bust on Wednesday followed the confiscation by Lao police of a combined 16 million amphetamine tablets in two separate busts in the same area over a one week period.

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Authorities in Laos did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.The Golden Triangle - an area of northeast Myanmar that meets parts of Thailand and Laos - has a long history of being a major drug-producing area.It has served as a massive production centre for amphetamine-type stimulants, especially methamphetamine, used by Asian crime syndicates with distribution networks reaching as far as Japan and New Zealand.

Douglas said the spike in volume of drugs seized in Laos was due to a shifting of smuggling routes inside Myanmar, as a result of unrest in border areas since a coup in February."This is related to the security and governance breakdown in the Triangle and Shan Myanmar – spillover is hitting the region," Douglas said.

(This story corrected to clarify that seizure was of tablets containing methamphetamine, not amphethamine, in paragraph two)Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok; Editing by Martin PettyOur Standards:More from ReutersSign up for our newsletterSubscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.

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