Latest news on synthetic drugs - September 2017

September 2017 – Japan: 480 kg of methamphetamine seized 

The Japan Customs together with the National Police of Japan and the Japan Coast Guard seized about 480 kg of crystalline methamphetamine on 21 August, 2017. The drug was found from a foreign fishing vessel coming into a port in Ibarki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. Five people – two Japanese and three foreign nationals were arrested.

 
Photo copyright ©: Japan Customs

For more information, please see (Japanese):
http://www.customs.go.jp/kyotsu/hodo/jikenhodo/h29jiken/jiken2017.htm

 

September 2017 – UNODC SMART: Public health threat by the non-medical use of benzodiazepines discussed in Global SMART Update 18

The Global SMART Update (Volume 18, September 2017) “Non-medical use of benzodiazepines: a growing threat to public health?” focusses on the concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids which has been linked to a number of deaths that occurred in the recent opioid crisis. While both, opioids and benzodiazepines, are widely used to treat various medical conditions, their concomitant, non-medical use poses severe health risks. This situation has been further exacerbated by the ready availability of counterfeited benzodiazepines and the increasing emergence of “designer benzodiazepines”, a common street name for new psychoactive substances (NPS) belonging to the benzodiazepine class.

 
Photo copyright ©: UNODC

For more information, please see:

Global SMART Update Volume 18 “Non-medical use of benzodiazepines: a growing threat to public health?” – https://www.unodc.org/documents/scientific/Global_SMART_Update_2017_Vol_18.pdf

Global SMART Update Volume 17 “Fentanyl and its analogues - 50 years on” – http://www.unodc.org/documents/scientific/Global_SMART_Update_17_web.pdf

UNODC News Clip “August 2017 – England and Wales: Deaths related to NPS and benzodiazepines continue to rise” – https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/01444473-5279-4108-89ea-1d762136fc99

UNODC News Clip “August 2017 – Scotland: Benzodiazepines account for the majority of NPS related deaths in Scotland in 2016” – https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/83b73f21-a5a9-4ffb-b1c6-61edc0f711ed

UNODC News Clip “July 2017 – Ireland: Deaths related to benzodiazepines constitute the largest number of drug-related deaths after opiates” – https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/382869b1-6537-4a62-b8a8-a929f50540b2

UNODC News Clip “April 2017 – UNODC: Several countries place benzodiazepine derivatives under national control” – https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/065118d5-b238-48d8-9d7f-b95fb5d11411

 

September 2017 – Republic of Korea: 27th Anti-Drug Liaison Officials' Meeting for International Cooperation (ADLOMICO)

The 27th Anti-Drug Liaison Officials' Meeting for International Cooperation (ADLOMICO) was organized in Jeju Islands, the Republic of Korea, on 21 – 22 September 2017. Participated by all ASEAN member states as well as countries from Europe and North America, this year ADLOMICO was a venue to discuss a wide range of emerging illicit drug issues, including drug trafficking facilitated by the Internet. UNODC participated in the meeting and updated participating countries on current illicit drug and precursor situation in East Asia and the Pacific.

 
Photo copyright ©: Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, Republic of Korea.

Mr. Moon Muil, Prosecutor General of the Korean Prosecution Service, delivering opening remarks

 

September 2017 – Hong Kong, China –Total number of registered drug users in decline

According to the latest data from the Central Registry of Drug Abuse (CRDA) of Hong Kong, China, the total number of registered drug users in the first half of 2017 decreased by 23 % from 5,211 to 3,994 compared with the same period of 2016. In addition, the total number of newly registered drug users also decreased from 1,090 to 757.


Heroin remains the most common drug used in Hong Kong, China, with 2,261 registered heroin users, accounting for about 57 % of the total. However, methamphetamine accounts for the largest share of the newly identified registered drug users. Of 757 newly identified registered drug users during the first half of 2017, 277 people were methamphetamine users, accounting for 37.5 % of the total, followed by cocaine, cannabis, and ketamine. Heroin only accounts 12.5 % of the total number of newly registered drug users.

For more information, please see:
http://www.nd.gov.hk/statistics_list/doc/en/t3.pdf

 

September 2017 – Indonesia: More than 130 kg of methamphetamine seized in Aceh

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and the Directorate General of Customs and Excise of Indonesia seized 137.7 kg of crystalline methamphetamine together with 42,500 ecstasy tablets in Aceh Province, on 18 September 2017.
The drugs were seized off the coast of Aceh Province, and three people were arrested at the scene. Traffickers used coffee packs to disguise the drugs.

For more information, please see (Indonesian):
http://www.bnn.go.id/read/pressrelease/17880/bnn-amankan137-kg-sabu-dan-42.500-butir-ekstasi-di-laut 

 

September 2017 – New Zealand: Over 100 kg of methamphetamine seized in Auckland

The New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Police conducted a joint investigation, which has resulted in a seizure of methamphetamine, estimated to be at least between 100 and 120 kg, sophisticatedly hidden in 16 concrete outdoor umbrella stands. The drug was found in a sea container originating from China. A total of seven people were arrested.

 
Photo copyright ©: New Zealand Customs

For more information, please see:
http://www.customs.govt.nz/news/stories/Pages/Seven-arrested-for-smuggling-over-100kg-methamphetamine.aspx

 

September 2017 – Malaysia: more than 300 kg of meth seized from a series of investigations

On 25 September 2017, Malaysian national authorities conducted a series of raids in Terengganu, Selangor and Penang, which has resulted in seizing more than 300 kg of crystalline methamphetamine. Packed inside Chinese tea packets, the seized drug was trafficked from Thailand via Kelantan and Terengganu. Six people aged between 25 and 53 were arrested.

 
Photo copyright ©: The Straits Times     

For more information, please see
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-cops-make-biggest-drug-bust-of-the-year-seizing-over-300kg-syabu-worth-s7