Southeast Asian nations make record busts of crystal meth amid intense rate of illicit drugs trafficking

Malaysia has snagged 1.2 tonnes of the drug disguised as tea in a shipment from Myanmar


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After Thailand and Indonesia, Malaysia is the next nation to crack down in the biggest operation against crystal methamphetamine in recent years amid reports that Southeast Asia is being flooded with illegal drugs produced in the "Golden Triangle" region.

Just in two months, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia continually seized the large amounts of crystal meth worth millions of US dollars, according to Reuters.

On March 28, Thai police seized around 10 million amphetamine pills and 700 kilograms of crystal meth in what has been estimated to be one of the largest drug busts in the nation.

Meanwhile, Indonesian officials confirmed to have confiscated around 2.6 tonnes of crystal meth from foreign-registered ships and arrested eight suspected Taiwanese and Chinese nationals.

A recent seizure was made by Malaysian police on May 28. According to reports, a total of 1,187 kg of the drug, worth US$18 million shipped in a container from Myanmar to the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur was seized by the local authorities, while six suspected traffickers were picked up.

According to Reuters, the methamphetamine market has expanded at an alarming rate in East and Southeast Asia.

On May 21, United Nations senior drug policy leaders warned that organized crime groups in Asia's Mekong region have contributed to the expansion of producing and trafficking illicit drugs, and the escalation of the drug trade to countries such as Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.