Latest news on synthetic drugs - May 2018

May 2018 – Malaysia: Record amount of methamphetamine seized

Malaysian authorities announced that they had seized nearly 1.2 metric tons (mt) of crystalline methamphetamine, the largest amount ever reported from the country and larger than the total amount seized in the country in 2017. A total of 1,187 kilograms (kg) of the drug was shipped from Yangon, Myanmar to Port Klang, Malaysia. Six suspected traffickers were arrested.



Photo copyright ©: Royal Malaysian Customs Department  

For more information, please see
https://www.facebook.com/pg/JabatanKastamDirajaMalaysia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1789850807750824 (Malaysian)

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-seizes-crystal-meth-worth-24m-in-record-bust

 

May 2018 – Thailand: Large haul of methamphetamine seized

Another large haul of methamphetamine was seized in Thailand. On 11th May, 2018, Thai authorities announced that they had seized about 10 million methamphetamine tablets together with half a ton of crystalline methamphetamine in Bangkok. The drugs were trafficked from Myanmar, and transported to Ayutthaya to Bangkok and then South before heading to Malaysia. The same Chinese tea bag that have been widely seen across many countries in East and Southeast Asia, and Oceania was used to package crystalline methamphetamine.



Photo copyright ©: Agence France-Presse (AFP) 

For more information, please see
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/1463133/billion-baht-drug-haul-seized-from-convoy-in-bangkok

 

May 2018 – Hong Kong, China: Indications of increases in GBL trafficking

Between 12 and 14 May, 2018, Hong Kong Customs seized a total of 18 kilograms of various illicit drugs as well as a batch of drug inhalation apparatus and packaging materials, with an estimated market value of about Hong Kong $1.9 million at Hong Kong International Airport and Central.

On May 12, 2018, Customs officers inspected an air mail parcel arriving from Lithuania and found about 10kg of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) inside a batch of plastic bottles. After follow-up investigations, two men, aged 30 and 54, were arrested with another 3 kg of GBL, 3 kg of methamphetamine, as well as some cocaine, cannabis resin and buds, ketamine and ecstasy at a residential area in Central where drug inhalation apparatus and packaging materials were also seized.

The GBL trafficking case reported on 12 May 2018 resembles a case reported on 27 April, which the embarkation point for the seized GBL was also Lithuania.  

 
Photo copyright ©: Customs and Excise Department, Hong Kong, China    

For more information about the case, please see
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/publication_press/press/index_id_2176.html 

For more information on the case reported on 27 April and general information about GBL, please see
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/publication_press/press/index_id_2165.html

 

May 2018 – Hong Kong, China: Methamphetamine lab dismantled

On 11 May, 2018, Hong Kong Customs dismantled a clandestine methamphetamine manufacture facility and storage centre in Yuen Long, and a total of 32 kilograms (kg) of the drug were seized. The authority said the seized drug has an estimated market value of $16.5 Hong Kong dollar. A 44-year-old man together with a 35-year-old woman were arrested for a related charge.

 
Photo copyright ©: Customs and Excise Department, Hong Kong, China    

For more information, please see
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/publication_press/press/index_id_2175.html

 

May 2018 – Australia: Three men charged over 200 kg of methamphetamine shipment

According to a New South Wales Joint Organized Crime Group (JOCG) of Australia, about 200 kilograms of crystalline methamphetamine were seized, and three men were arrested. The seized drug was hidden inside a machinery shipped by cargo arriving from Malaysia on 21 April 2018. Two people from Taiwan province of China and one Chinese national were arrested after conducing a controlled delivery by the JOCG.

 
Photo copyright ©: Australian Border Force   

For more information, please see
http://newsroom.border.gov.au/releases/jocg-charges-three-men-over-200kg-ice-shipment

 

May 2018 – Singapore: 25 substances added to the First Schedule of Misuse of Drugs Act

With effect from 1 May 2018, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore listed all 21 New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) that had been scheduled in the Fifth Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA). This implies that the 21 substances will be reclassified as Class A controlled drugs. In addition, 4 other NPS were also added to the First Schedule as a Class A controlled drugs. As a result, any person found guilty of trafficking the 25 NPS will face a minimum of five years’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane.


The Government of Singapore has introduced the Fifth Schedule of the MDA for a purpose of temporarily restricting NPS for up to 12 months, with a possibility of extension for another 12 months.


The 25 NPS listed in the First Schedule with the effect from 1 May 2018 are:


1.    N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (also known as ADB-FUBINACA) and its fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
2.    N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxamide (also known as ADBICA)
3.    N-(1-Amino-1-oxo-3-phenylpropan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (also known as PX-3 or APP-CHMINACA)
4.    1-Benzyl-4-methylpiperazine (also known as Methylbenzylpiperazine or MBZP)
5.    2-Bis(4-fluorophenyl)methylsulfinyl-N-methylacetamide (also known as N-Methyl-4,4-difluoromodafinil or modafiendz) and its fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl rings
6.    2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (also known as 2C-C) and its chloro and dimethoxy positional isomers in the phenyl ring
7.    Methyl 2-[1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (also known as MDMB-FUBINACA) and its fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
8.    4-Fluoromethylphenidate and its fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
9.    Methyl 2-[1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (also known as 5-Fluoro-MDMB-PINACA or 5-Fluoro-ADB) and its hexanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the pentyl group
10.    Methyl 2-[1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (also known as 5-Fluoro-MDMB-PINACA or 5-Fluoro-ADB) and its hexanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the pentyl group
11.    Methyl 2-[1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3-methylbutanoate (also known as MMB-FUBINACA) and its 1-pentanoate and 2-methylbutanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
12.    N-(1-Adamantyl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (also known as FUB-APINACA or FUB-AKB48) and its fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
13.    Methyl 2-[1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamido]-3-methylbutanoate (also known as MMB-FUBICA or AMB-FUBICA) and its 1-pentanoate and 2-methylbutanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
14.    N-(1-Methyl-1-phenylethyl)-1-(4-cyanobutyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (also known as Cumyl-4CN-BINACA or 4-Cyano cumyl-butinaca or SGT-78) and its phenylpropyl isomers and their respective cyano positional isomers in the butyl group
15.    3-Methoxy-2-(methylamino)-1-(4-methylphenyl)propan-1-one (also known as Mexedrone) and its methyl positional isomers in the phenyl ring
16.    2-N-[2-(4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylethyl)aminomethyl]phenol (also known as 25B-NBOH) and its bromo, dimethoxy and hydroxy positional isomers in the respective phenyl rings
17.    2-N-[2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenylethyl)aminomethyl]phenol (also known as 25C-NBOH) and its chloro, dimethoxy and hydroxy positional isomers in the respective phenyl rings
18.    2-N-[2-(2,5-Dimethoxyphenylethyl)aminomethyl]phenol (also known as 25H-NBOH) and its dimethoxy and hydroxy positional isomers in the respective phenyl rings
19.    2-N-[2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylethyl)aminomethyl]phenol (also known as 25I-NBOH) and its dimethoxy, hydroxy and iodo positional isomers in the respective phenyl rings
20.    Methyl 2-[1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamido]-3, 3-dimethylbutanoate (also known as 5-Fluoro-MDMB-PICA) and its hexanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the pentyl group
21.    Ethyl 2-[1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (also known as 5-Fluoro-EDMB-PINACA) and its hexanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the pentyl group
22.    6,7,8,14-Tetradehydro-4,5-α-epoxy-6-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-3-ol (also known as 3-O-demethylthebaine or Oripavine)
23.    2-[1-(5-Fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoic acid and its hexanoic acid isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the pentyl group
24.    2-[1-(5-Fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoic acid and its hexanoic acid isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the pentyl group
25.    Methyl 2-[1-(5-hydroxypentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate and its hexanoate isomers and their respective hydroxy positional isomers in the pentyl group

For more information about the recent MDA amendment, please see
https://www.cnb.gov.sg/NewsAndEvents/News/Index/misuse-of-drugs-act-(wef-1st-may-2018) 

For more information about legal responses to NPS, please see
https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Page/NPS/LegalResponses