Myanmar’s Descent into Chaos to Further Fuel Mekong Drug Trade: UN

The chaos in Myanmar could see a surge in meth production across the’ Golden Triangle’, the United Nation’s organized crime agency said Tuesday, as ethnic militias seek quick cash to firm up their positions in lawless borderlands whose fragile equilibrium has been disrupted by the coup.

Drug lords entwined with rebel groups in Myanmar’s ungovernable border zone with Laos, Thailand and China – the notorious Golden Triangle – have been pumping record amounts of methamphetamine across Southeast Asia.

They churn out precursor chemicals and yaba ‘crazy medicine’ pills and the more addictive – and expensive – crystal meth to a regional market worth up to an estimated $70 billion a year.

The February 1 coup in Myanmar has stoked instability in border regions where complex alliances among rebel groups, drug lords and affiliates of Myanmar’s army have kept an uneasy order, where skirmishes can be smoothed over by a shared interest in keeping the narco money flowing.

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Vijitra Duangdee