Chaos in Myanmar poses threat of meth trafficking surge for Thailand

A village watchman trains his binoculars on a suspicious fishing boat – the first line of defence as Thailand braces for a fresh methamphetamine influx after a coup in neighbouring Myanmar.

The kingdom’s narcotics bureau has already seized more than 80 million “yaba” pills just in the past six months, a record haul partly blamed on a supply glut caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But now the United Nations warns of an even bigger deluge as Myanmar’s legal economy tanks, following weeks of nationwide unrest and strike action following the military takeover.

“If past actions are an indicator of what’s coming, then we’re likely to see another increase in synthetic drug production,” said Jeremy Douglas of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

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