If you need any help or a chat then IM/PM or email me, Chip

Author Topic: Massive fentanyl haul seized in Asia's biggest-ever drug bust  (Read 769 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

  • Server Admin
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 6336
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • Chip has hidden their reputation power
  • Gender: Male
  • Last Login:Yesterday at 04:35:35 AM
  • Deeply Confused Learner
  • Profession: IT Engineer
source: https://www.jpost.com/international/massive-fentanyl-haul-seized-in-asias-biggest-ever-drugs-bust-628688

Massive fentanyl haul seized in Asia's biggest-ever drug bust

MAY 20, 2020

The seizure showed the methods of the drug syndicates were changing.



Undated handout photo of precursor chemicals used to make illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, ketamine, heroin and fentanyl seized by Myanmar police and military near Loikan village in Shan State
(photo credit: MYANMAR POLICE/UNODC/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)


Myanmar police say they have seized a huge haul of liquid fentanyl, the first time one of the dangerous synthetic opioids that have ravaged North America has been found in Asia's Golden Triangle drug-producing region.

In a signal that Asia's drug syndicates have moved into the lucrative opioid market, Reuters can reveal more than 3,700 liters of methylfentanyl was discovered by anti-narcotics police near Loikan village in Shan State in northeast Myanmar.

The seizure of the fentanyl derivative was part of Asia's biggest-ever interception of illicit drugs, precursors and drug-making equipment, including 193 million methamphetamine tablets known as yaba. At 17.5 tonnes, the yaba almost equalled the amount seized in the previous two years in Myanmar.



Undated handout photo of precursor chemicals used to make illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, ketamine, heroin and fentanyl seized by Myanmar police and military near Loikan village in Shan State. (Myanmar Police/UNODC/Handout via REUTERS)

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the scale of the bust was unprecedented and Myanmar's anti-drug authorities had "dismantled a significant network" during a two-month operation involving police and military. Also seized were almost 163,000 liters and 35.5 tonnes of drug precursors, as well as weapons.

There were more than 130 arrests. Even so, the methylfentanyl discovery was an ominous indicator for the region's illicit drug market, the U.N. agency and a Western official based in Myanmar told Reuters.

"It could be a game-changer because fentanyl is so potent that its widespread use would cause a major health concern for Myanmar and the region," said the Western official, who declined to be identified.

In an interview with Reuters, the head of law enforcement for Myanmar’s counter-narcotics agency, Colonel Zaw Lin, said the methylfentanyl had been verified using state-of-the-art equipment.

The seizure showed the methods of the drug syndicates were changing, he said.

Fentanyl and its derivatives have caused more than 130,000 overdose deaths in the United States and Canada in the past five years, according to government agencies. The opioid epidemic has not swept Asia, Europe or Australasia but there have been signs it is an emerging threat.

"We have repeatedly warned the region fentanyl could become a problem but this is off the charts," said the UNODC's Southeast Asia and the Pacific representative Jeremy Douglas. "It is the shift in the market we have been anticipating, and fearing."

DEADLY MIX


While Myanmar police did not disclose the purity and exact make-up of the methylfentanyl found, it comes in two main variants, both more potent than fentanyl, according to the European Union's drug monitoring agency.
Fentanyl itself is 25 to 50 times stronger than heroin.

Increasingly, drug traffickers have been mixing fentanyl and its derivatives with heroin, meth and cocaine, adding to their potency and lethality.

Half of all heroin and cocaine overdoses in the United States included substances with traces of synthetic opioids in 2017, a Rand Corporation analysis found.

A Canadian survey found 73% of those who tested positive for fentanyl did not know they had consumed it.

Zaw Lin said the methylfentanyl and other drugs and precursors were found in clearings near Loikan village where several drug factories were located but had been abandoned when the raids took place.

"Upon interrogation, the offenders revealed most of the drugs would be distributed inside Myanmar and distributed around neighboring countries," he said.

"But we are still conducting interrogations. We haven’t totally got the final destinations yet."

Liquid fentanyl is usually converted into powder before being sold, often in tablet form, two analysts, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

CHEAP TO MAKE, EASY TO TRAFFIC

As well as being easier and cheaper to produce than heroin, strong synthetic opioids like fentanyl can be readily concealed and transported as only small amounts can deliver thousands of doses.

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has closed borders and curbed movements in many countries, the UNODC is concerned that fentanyl will still spread around the world.

For decades, Asian crime syndicates in partnership with ethnic minority militias have used the Golden Triangle - centered on northern Myanmar and including parts of Laos and Thailand - to grow opium and refine heroin.

More recently, meth production by groups such as the Sam Gor syndicate has exploded in the region, in part due to a crackdown in neighboring China.

Zaw Lin said the methylfentanyl had come from a neighboring country but could not confirm which one. Myanmar police documents reviewed by Reuters said most of the seized drugs, precursors and equipment had come from China.

China, along with Mexico, has been a major supplier of fentanyl to North America but escalating law enforcement efforts have brought a slump in Chinese exports of the synthetic opioid to the United States, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Mexican cartels have picked up the slack but the UNODC said recent difficulties obtaining precursors from China had crimped their fentanyl production.

Northern Myanmar's proximity to China makes it an attractive alternative for Asian drug syndicates looking to produce fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, analysts said.

"The alliances between Myanmar's ethnic militias and transnational crime groups must be broken or the synthetic drug problem will continue to deteriorate," said the UNODC's Douglas.

Zaw Lin said Myanmar was stepping up efforts to disrupt the syndicates and was increasing cooperation with other nations.
"Myanmar is carrying out counter-drug operations as one of our top national priorities," he said.
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
5 Replies
4446 Views
Last post January 03, 2018, 08:24:56 AM
by Raine
11 Replies
5349 Views
Last post December 01, 2018, 12:39:48 AM
by bobbytarantino
8 Replies
4592 Views
Last post January 29, 2018, 12:45:10 PM
by LadyKalma
9 Replies
3399 Views
Last post February 23, 2016, 10:19:14 PM
by QueensVet
8 Replies
4278 Views
Last post March 25, 2016, 11:26:04 PM
by Zoops
1 Replies
1979 Views
Last post April 14, 2016, 12:52:14 PM
by jonnyr3b
1 Replies
2081 Views
Last post July 10, 2016, 10:16:42 PM
by theSWPK
0 Replies
1950 Views
Last post August 29, 2016, 02:25:13 AM
by DreamerOnTheRun
0 Replies
2296 Views
Last post September 29, 2016, 05:46:00 AM
by Chip
0 Replies
1199 Views
Last post July 09, 2019, 07:10:44 AM
by Chip





TERMS AND CONDITIONS

In no event will d&u or any person involved in creating, producing, or distributing site information be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special or consequential damages arising out of the use of or inability to use d&u. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless d&u, its domain founders, sponsors, maintainers, server administrators, volunteers and contributors from and against all liability, claims, damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from the use of any part of the d&u site.


TO USE THIS WEBSITE YOU MUST AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ABOVE



Founded December 2014
SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal