In Mekong region, drug trade thrives

An example of a resilient business model in hard times? Indeed, except that this describes how the synthetic drug industry has been expanding in East and Southeast Asia, home to the Mekong region which is the manufacturing and trafficking hub that supplies illicit drugs that reach not just the wider Asia but the globe.

Referring to a report on the synthetic drug situation, Inshik Sim, drug programme analyst for Southeast Asia and the Pacific for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said: “Covid-19 has had very, very limited impact and especially in the Mekong region, we don’t see much impact of Covid-19,”

“It shows the flexibility of the organised crime groups that have been able to successfully supply methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs into Southeast Asia,” said Mr Sim in a discussion in June.

Keep reading