Daniel Halliday
Apr 24 · Last update 1 mo. ago.
What’s behind the drug trafficking problem coming out of Myanmar?
The world’s second most extensive area of opium production is situated in the “Golden Triangle” of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, after Afghanistan's "Golden Crescent". However in recent years this part of the world has also been home to a huge methamphetamine production industry which is thought to be centred around Myanmar. What is behind the booming drug trade in and around Myanmar?
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Myanmar’s production
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Myanmar’s production

Seizures of methamphetamines and related substances have risen in countries across South East Asia in excess of 30 tonnes in 2017, and in countries as far flung as Australia, but experts believe this only amounts to around 10% of total production from Myanmar, the regions main supplier. From reports such as the 1999 “Burma and Drugs: The Regime’s Complicity in the Global Drug Trade” (Des Ball) it became clear that both Myanmar’s military, and warring regional militias, had extensive involvement in the opium production in the country. In recent years it is thought that the various military’s roles have evolved to guarding and escorting producers and traffickers, but still constitutes tacit involvement in what is moving from opium production to the cheaper methamphetamine. Speculation around why the military is so involved in this illicit market is widespread, but many in the worst affected areas believe this is part of a wider scheme of state sponsored ethnic cleansing.

factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Myanmar/sub5_5f/entry-3110.html pri.org/stories/2015-11-12/myanmar-s-state-backed-militias-are-flooding-asia-meth theaseanpost.com/article/myanmar-meth-capital-world