Latest news on synthetic drugs

DISCLAIMER: These news articles have been reproduced verbatim as on the original site, with the exception of replacing certain terms with United Nations terminology when necessary. As such, the articles are provided for general reference purposes. Their content does not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

 

July 2017 - Indonesia: More than 40 kg of methamphetamine seized in Indonesia

On 15 July, 2017, Indonesian national authorities seized 44 kg of crystalline methamphetamine originating from Malaysia, in Pantai Cermin, North Sumatra. The seized drug was trafficked from Malaysia to Kuala Tanjung, North Sumatra, through the coastal waters of eastern North Sumatra. A total of 10 people were arrested for the related offence.  


Photo copyright ©: Directorate General of Customs and Excise, Indonesia

For more information, please see:
http://www.beacukai.go.id/berita/ungkap-peredaran-narkotika-jaringan-internasional-bea-cukai-bnn-dan-kepolisian-amankan-44-kilogram-sabu.html (Indonesian)

 

July 2017 - Australia: Joint investigation with the US led to a seizure of large amounts of methamphetamine

A joint investigation between Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has resulted in a seizure of 255 kg of crystalline methamphetamine in California. Three Australians were arrested in Australia to have attempted to bring the drug via a light aircraft to Australia. Investigations into this case are ongoing.
According to the most recent Australian Illicit Drug Data Report, the United States was the fourth major embarkation point of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), excluding MDMA, by weight, seized at the Australia border between 2015-2016, following China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan Province of China, and Nigeria.  


Photo copyright ©: Australian Federal Police
For more information, please see:
https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/three-australians-arrested-connection-californian-ice-seizure-worth-255 

 

July 2017 – Australia: New annual illicit drug data report released

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACC) released its new annual illicit drug data report that covers data collated between July 2015 and June 2016. The new report confirms that amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), excluding MDMA, remain a significant challenge to Australia. In terms of weight, seizures of ATS (excluding MDAMA) at the Australian border during the period were the second largest on record (2,620.6 kg). Several countries in East and Southeast Asia, such as China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan Province of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, were listed among the top 10 embarkation points for ATS (excluding MDMA) seized at the border.  
In addition, seizures of ATS (excluding MDMA) related precursor chemicals at the border increased more than a two-fold in 2015-2016 (1,063.7 kg) compared to the preceding period.  China was the prominent embarkation point for the precursors seized at the border during the period, and other countries in East and Southeast Asia, including Viet Nam, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia, were recognised as key embarkation points.  


For more information,
https://www.acic.gov.au/publications/intelligence-products/illicit-drug-data-report-0 

 

July 2017 - Indonesia: The largest crystalline methamphetamine seizure

Approximately one metric ton (mt) of crystalline methamphetamine, the largest ever on record, was seized in Indonesia on 13 July 2017. According to Indonesian national authorities, the drug was trafficked from Taiwan Province of China to the country by a Taiwanese drug trafficking group through maritime routes. Media reports said the ship used for transporting the drug traveled from Taiwan Province of China to Johor Bahru, Malaysia before reaching Aceh and Serang, Indonesia.

 


Photo copyright ©: Antrara photo/Asep Fathulrahman)

For more information, please see:
http://jakartaglobe.id/news/indonesias-largest-ever-crystal-meth-seizure-suggests-country-may-heaven-traffickers/ 

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/07/18/indonesia-cooperates-with-taiwan-to-uncover-drug-smuggling.html

 


June 2017 – Thailand: Large amounts of methamphetamine seized in Bangkok

On 27th June, 2017, law enforcement authorities of Thailand announced to have seized 1,718,000 methamphetamine tablets, known as ‘yaba’ , together with 296 kg of crystalline methamphetamine, and arrested four Thai nationals. The arrestees were suspected of trafficking drugs from the North to Bangkok for its market, and nearby provinces and the southern provinces of Thailand for onward trafficking to other countries.

 
Photo copyright ©: Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Thailand
Source: ONCB, Thailand

For more information, please see:
http://bit.ly/2sooK7u (Thai)

 

June 2017 – Australia: The largest ephedrine seizure on record

1.4 tons of ephedrine, a major methamphetamine precursor chemical, were seized in Australia, the largest seizure of ephedrine on record. An investigation revealed that members of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) and other criminal groups were behind of this case. A total of 12 men were arrested, and a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory was also dismantled in relation to the case. It is estimated that the amount of seized ephedrine could produce more than 1 metric ton (mt) of methamphetamine.   


Photo copyright ©: Australian Federal Police (AFP)

For more information, please see:
https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/drug-supply-network-dismantled-after-more-tonne-border-controlled-drugs 

 

June 2017 – UNODC World Drug Report 2017: Use of synthetic cannabinoid products associated with severe health risks 

Synthetic cannabinoids are not simply synthetic versions of the substances occurring in herbal cannabis, as street names such as “synthetic cannabis” or “synthetic marijuana” may suggest. They are a diverse group of potent psychoactive compounds that are designed to mimic the desired effects of cannabis, of which there are also many new products on the market.

Recently, there has been growing recognition of the harm of intoxication that can result from synthetic cannabinoid use. The use of some products containing certain synthetic cannabinoids has been associated with severe adverse health events including hospitalisations and fatalities. Further intoxications and fatal cases associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoids so far might have remained undetected due to toxicological knowledge gaps, particularly of newly emerging substances, and the interaction between synthetic cannabinoids and other drugs.

Figure 1. Examples of chemical modifications leading to new synthetic cannabinoids

Source: UNODC, responses to annual report questionnaire, 2010-2015.
Note: Contains seizures in the form of herbal material, as well as powder and liquids.

For more information, please see:

UNODC “World Drug Report 2017”
http://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/field/Booklet_4_ATSNPS.pdf

 

June 2017 – UNODC World Drug Report 2017: New psychoactive substances continue to evolve, diversify and grow

The new psychoactive substance (NPS) market continues to be very dynamic and is characterized by the emergence of large numbers of new substances belonging to diverse chemical groups. Between 2009 and 2016, 106 countries and territories reported the emergence of 739 different NPS to UNODC. Marketed in many different ways and forms, new substances often emerge quickly and disappear again, while some become used regularly among a small group of users. Several countries have reported NPS being sold under the name of controlled drugs such as “LSD” and “ecstasy”. Often used for reasons similar to those for the use of traditional drugs, their easy availability and low prices have made certain NPS highly attractive to some groups of drug users. A market for some NPS in their own right now appears to have been established.

A core group of over 80 NPS were reported every year during the period 2009-2015 and appear to have become established on the global market; a number of them have been placed under international control. On the other hand, about 60 NPS seem to have disappeared from the market since 2013. Problems in identifying them in a laboratory may be a factor, however, in the low level of reporting of these lesser-known substances.
 
Figure 1. Number of different new psychoactive substances reported each year, 2009-2015

Source: UNODC, early warning advisory on new psychoactive substances.

 

For more information, please see:

UNODC “World Drug Report 2017”
http://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/field/Booklet_4_ATSNPS.pdf

 

June 2017 – UNODC World Drug Report 2017: Opioid market in a constant state of change

The opioid market is becoming more diversified. This market comprises a combination of internationally controlled substances, particularly heroin, and prescription medicines that are either diverted from the legal market or produced as counterfeit medicines on a large scale. Some of these substances have remarkable pain-relieving properties and are widely used in human therapy; yet some are also liable to abuse and may produce dependence. The pills and powders containing synthetic opioids sold on the illicit market pose a threat to public health due to the variable quantity and potency of their active components, which in extreme cases, such as carfentanil, may be 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Such products can prove particularly dangerous when sold as street heroin or as counterfeit prescription drugs without the user’s knowledge. The emergence of highly toxic substances, as has been the case in the opioid market (e.g. the “fentanyl overdose crisis”), shows the need for increased regulation and monitoring.

Figure 1. Annual number of synthetic opioids reported to UNODC, 2012-2016

Source: UNODC early warning advisory on new psychoactive substances. Includes only synthetic opioids reported as NPS (i.e., with no current approved medical use). Data for 2016 are preliminary.

 

For more information, please see:

UNODC “World Drug Report 2017”
http://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/

UNODC report on “Fentanyl and its analogues - 50 years on”
https://www.unodc.org/documents/scientific/Global_SMART_Update_17_web.pdf

 

June 2017 – UNODC World Drug Report 2017: Expanding market for synthetic drugs

Unlike the manufacture of heroin and cocaine, the manufacture of synthetic drugs is not geographically constrained, as the process does not involve the extraction of active constituents from plants that have to be cultivated in certain conditions for them to grow. Yet any analysis of the synthetic drugs market is complicated by the fact that information on synthetic drug manufacture is limited, which prevents the estimation of the volume of such drugs being manufactured worldwide.
Nevertheless, data on seizures and use suggest that the supply of synthetic drugs is expanding. An increasing number of countries are reporting seizures of synthetic new psychoactive substances (NPS), with over 20 tons seized in 2015. Seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) doubled in the five years prior to 2015, to reach 191 tons in 2015.

Figure 1. Annual amounts of synthetic new psychoactive substances seized globally, 2010-2015
 
Source: UNODC, responses to annual report questionnaire, 2010-2015.
Note: Figures exclude plant-based NPS and ketamine.
For more information, please see:

UNODC “World Drug Report 2017”
http://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/field/Booklet_4_ATSNPS.pdf

 

June 2017 – UNODC World Drug Report 2017: Seizures in East and South-East Asia accounting for the highest percentage of global seizures of methamphetamine

Seizure data for the period 2010-2015 signalled a geographical shift, with 2015 seizures in East and South-East Asia accounting for the highest percentage of global seizures of methamphetamine and surpassing seizures in North America for the first time. The recent predominance of East and South-East Asia in global seizures is possibly the result of two trends: methamphetamine markets expanding in Asia more than they are elsewhere, and an improved capacity of law enforcement authorities to detect methamphetamine, which is now recognized as one of the major drug threats in the region.
Of particular note is the large increase in methamphetamine seizures in China, which reached 37 tons in 2015. Other countries in East and South-East Asia, such as Myanmar and Thailand, have also seen a steady increase in annual seizure quantities, although their seizure levels remain lower than those of China.

Figure 1. Quantities of methamphetamine seized worldwide, by region, 2010-2015

Source: UNODC, responses to annual report questionnaire, 2010-2015.

For more information, please see:

UNODC “World Drug Report 2017”
http://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/field/Booklet_4_ATSNPS.pdf

 

June 2017 – UNODC-SMART: Report on the "The Challenge of Synthetic Drugs in East and South-East Asia" is launched

On 1st June 2017, the UNODC SMART Programme launched the report entitled "The Challenge of Synthetic Drugs in East and South-East Asia" in Bangkok, Thailand. This report provides an overview of the trends and features of the market for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and new psychoactive substances (NPS) in the East and South-East Asian region.

According to the findings of this report, the market for methamphetamine in particular continues to expand in the region with seizures of both forms of methamphetamine - tablets and crystalline - reaching record highs in 2015, with most countries noting an increasing use of the substance. Both the number and the scale of illicit methamphetamine manufacturing facilities continue to increase to meet the rapidly rising demand for methamphetamine in the region. In addition, various NPS have emerged in the region, which have added to the complexity and created new challenges.


Photo copyright ©: UNODC

For more information, please see:

UNODC report on “The Challenge of Synthetic Drugs in East and South-East Asia”
http://www.apaic.org/images/SMART-PDF/2017_The_Challenge_of_Synthetic_Drugs_in_East_and_SEA.pdf

Press release of the report launch
http://www.unodc.org/documents/southeastasiaandpacific//press-release/2017/Press_release_new_synthetic_drug_report_UNODC.pdf

UNODC web story of the report launch
http://www.unodc.org/southeastasiaandpacific/en/2017/06/new-synthetic-drugs-report-launch/story.html

 

June 2017 – UNODC: Special Event on implementing the scheduling decisions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Preceding the intersessional meeting, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) had organized a Special Event, sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and the UNODC Laboratory and Scientific Section (LSS) on implementing the scheduling decisions on new psychoactive substances (NPS) of the Commission. UNODC presented on the process taking place after the scheduling of substances and the role of the Laboratory and Scientific Section (LSS) in this regard, adding to the contributions made by representatives from the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

Figure 1: Implementation of the scheduling decisions


Photo copyright ©: UNODC

For more information, please see:

Post-UNGASSS website – News on “6 June 2017 - Next intersessional meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and Special event on implementing the scheduling decisions of the CND”
http://www.unodc.org/postungass2016/

Presentation by Dr. Justice Tettey, Chief of LSS, on “Implementing the Scheduling Decisions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs”
http://www.unodc.org/documents/postungass2016//follow-up/Special_Events/170606/UNODC_CND_June_6_Intersessional_LSS.pdf

Post-UNGASSS website with an overview of the special events and Intersessional meetings
http://www.unodc.org/postungass2016/en/follow-up-process.html#SpecialEvents

Programme of the special event on “Implementing the scheduling decisions of the CND”
http://www.unodc.org/documents/postungass2016//follow-up/Special_Events/170606/Flyer6JuneCNDSpecialEvent.jpg

 


 

May 2017 – Singapore: U-47700 and four more NPS listed as Class A controlled drugs

As of 1 May 2017, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore has incorporated five NPS, including the synthetic opioid U-47700 and four synthetic cannabinoids (5F-MN-24, MDMB-CHMICA, NM-2201 and THJ-018) in the national list of Class A controlled drugs of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA). Nine additional NPS were added to the Fifth Schedule of the MDA, which places them under temporary control in Singapore. U-47700 was already placed under international control (Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961) earlier this year by a decision of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

According to the recently released annual report of the CNB, more than 3.5 kg of NPS plus 4,000 tablets containing NPS were seized over the last two years. In 2016, seizures of more than 1,100 tablets containing NPS were recorded, a decrease of more than 60% compared to 2015.



For more information, please see:

CNB – Current News: Misuse Of Drugs Act https://www.cnb.gov.sg/newsroom/current/news_details/17-04-28/Misuse_Of_Drugs_Act.aspx

CNB Annual Statistics Release for 2016: Overview of Singapore’s Drug Situation in 2016: https://www.cnb.gov.sg/Libraries/CNB_Newsroom_Files/CNB_Annual_Stats_Release_for_2016_docx.sflb.ashx

EWA news clip on “UNODC: Ten substances "scheduled" at the 60th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs” – https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/458fe6f4-a85b-4251-924c-57047afc167f

EWA news clip on “UNODC: Commission on Narcotic Drugs decision on international control of U-47700 and Butyrfentanyl enters into force” –

https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/b967b63b-c810-454f-b77c-6c9179524c88

 

May 2017 – Philippines: More than 600 kg of crystalline methamphetamine seized in Valenzuela

On May 26, 2017, the Bureau of Customs of the Philippines seized 604 kg of crystalline methamphetamine in two warehouses in Valenzuela City through joint operations between several national authorities of China and the Philippines. Estimated at USD 130 million, the drug was trafficked from Xiamen, China, and 13 people were arrested, 12 Chinese and 1 Filipino.


Photo copyright ©: National Narcotics Control Commission, China 

For more information, see
http://www.nncc626.com/2017-05/28/c_129620799.htm (Chinese)

 

May 2017 – Thailand: Nearly 2 million methamphetamine tablets seized together with other drugs in Thailand

According to a media release from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) of Thailand, a total of 1,874,000 methamphetamine tablets, 1 kg of crystalline methamphetamine, and 2 kg of ketamine were seized in Samut Sakhon province, located in the vicinity of Thailand. One Thai national was arrested. The origin of the seized drugs is not known.


Photo copyright ©: NSB, Thailand

For more information, see
http://bit.ly/2qqCtOG  (Thai)

 

May 2017 - Singapore: Joint investigation with Malaysia led to dismantling of drug trafficking group

On 6th May, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore and the Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) of the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) initiated joint investigations, which led to seizures of 64 kg of crystalline methamphetamine, 61.5 kg of ketamine, and nearly 24,000 ‘ecstasy’ tablets. Two Singaporeans and four Malaysians were arrested for a related offence.  Investigations are ongoing.


Photo copyright ©: NCID, Malaysia

For more information, see
https://www.cnb.gov.sg/newsroom/current/news_details/17-05-11/CNB_NCID_Joint_investigation_regional_drug_trafficking_syndicate_dismantled.aspx

 


 

April 2017 – Thailand: Large haul of methamphetamine seized

The Thailand Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) announced to have seized nearly 150 kg of crystalline methamphetamine together with 4 million methamphetamine tablets on 27 April. The drugs were seized on the road connecting between Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong, built along the bank of the Mekong River.  Two people were charged with a related offence.


Photo copyright ©: NSB, Thailand  

Source: NSB, Thailand  

For more information, see (Thai)
http://bit.ly/2pad5uB 

 

April 2017 – Philippines: 2016 drug treatment admission data released

In 2016, the number of drug treatment admissions at residential facilities in the Philippines increased by 13 % from 5,402 in 2015 to 6,079. The median age of those admitted in 2016 was 31-year-old and male admissions accounted for 93% of the total.


Photo copyright ©: DDB, Thailand

Source: DDB, Thailand

For more information, see
http://www.ddb.gov.ph/research-statistics/statistics/45-research-and-statistics/329-2016-statistics

 

April 2017 – Brunei Darussalam: 641 people arrested for drug related offences in 2016

According to media reports, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Brunei Darussalam made 641 arrests for drug-related offences in 2016, showing a stable trend compared to 2015 (638 arrests). Of the 641 arrests, 87% were male and the remaining 13% were female and about 9% were foreign nationals. With regard to the age distribution of arrests, persons aged 31 and above account for approximately 55% (355), followed by the age group between 21 and 30 years-old (237).
  
Source: Borneo Bulletin

For more information, see
http://borneobulletin.com.bn/ncb-641-arrests-made-last-year/

 

April 2017 – Australia: Police made the largest ever methamphetamine seizure

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Victoria Police have seized almost 903 kg of crystalline methamphetamine, the largest ever amount seized in the country. According to a press release issued by the AFP, the seized methamphetamine was found in 70 boxes of wooden floorboards. Two men were arrested for a related offence. The authorities did not mention the origin of the seized drug. 


Photo copyright ©: AFP, Australia

 
Source: Australian Federal Police

For more information, see
https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/police-operation-leads-australia%E2%80%99s-largest-ever-meth-bust

 


 

March 2017 – Australia: National wastewater drug monitoring program

Canberra, Australia:  A report on wastewater analysis, conducted to assess the level of national drug consumption in Australia, confirms that methamphetamine is the highest consumed illicit drug among 13 tested substances in the country. The tested substances are:

•    Methamphetamine
•    Amphetamine
•    Cocaine
•    MDMA (Ecstasy)
•    MDA
•    JWH-018
•    JWH-073
•    Mephedrone
•    Methylone
•    Oxycodone
•    Fentanyl
•    Tobacco
•    Alcohol

The estimated national average consumption of methamphetamine is 35 does per 1,000 people per day in 2016. If the figure is compared with data from 17 European countries, Australia has the second highest total estimated consumption among the countries.

In addition, the report also points out that pharmaceutical synthetic opioids (oxycodone and fentanyl) use across all jurisdictions is at concerning levels.

Source: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)

For more information, see
https://www.acic.gov.au/publications/intelligence-products/national-wastewater-drug-monitoring-program-report

 

March 2017 – China: New annual report on drug control in China  

Beijing, China: The National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) of China has released its new annual report on drug control. According to the report, Chinese national authorities seized 82.1 tons of various illicit drugs, including 17.4 tons of crystalline methamphetamine, 11.6 tons of methamphetamine pills, 10.4 tons of ketamine, and 8.8 tons of heroin. The report also says 357,000 people received treatment for drug use and 168,000 people were arrested for drug production and trafficking.

Source: The Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China

For more information, see (Chinese)
http://www.mps.gov.cn/n2254098/n4904352/c5667097/content.html 

 

March 2017 – New Zealand: Seizure of a new form of methamphetamine

Auckland, New Zealand: The New Zealand Customs Service, in cooperation with the New Zealand Police, seized a new form of methamphetamine, t-boc methamphetamine, which is chemically masked to prevent it from detection, and can be converted to methamphetamine through a chemical process. The seized t-boc methamphetamine could be converted to approximately 120 kg of methamphetamine. It was the first time that this form of methamphetamine was seized. It was shipped from Hong Kong (China) by cargo.  
 
Source: New Zealand Customs Service

For more information, see
http://www.customs.govt.nz/news/stories/Pages/Partnership-approach-disrupts-new-form-of-methamphetamine-importation-.aspx 

 

March 2017 – China: 86 kg of khat seized

Shanghai, China: According to media reports, 86 kg of khat (Catha edulis) originating from Africa by express mail was seized in China. Khat is a plant native to the horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and has mild stimulant effects. Over the years, several countries in Asia and the Pacific have been used as transit points for khat trafficking. Khat is not internationally controlled but is under national control in several countries.  
 
Source: Shanghai Daily

For more information on the incident, see
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/metro/society/86kg-of-drugs-seized/shdaily.shtml 

For more information on khat, see
https://www.unodc.org/LSS/SubstanceGroup/Details/4b17fe10-91da-477c-bc3d-593136040668

 

March 2017 – Australia: 540 kg of methamphetamine seized in Sydney

Sydney, Australia: Australian national authorities stopped the importation of 540 kg of methamphetamine into Sydney and arrested eight people on related charges. The seized drug was trafficked by sea cargo, which departed from the United States.

Source: Australian Border Force & Australian Federal Police

For more information, see
http://newsroom.border.gov.au/releases/meth-worth-324-million-seized-eight-charged



Feb 2017 – Japan: More than 1 ton of methamphetamine seized in 2016

Tokyo, Japan: Japan continues to be targeted by expanding transnational drug trafficking networks, in particular those based in Asia. According to media reports, more than 1 ton of methamphetamine was seized in Japan in 2016, the second largest amount on record reported from the country.  Several large quantities of methamphetamine seizure cases, including a seizure of 600 kg of methamphetamine originating from Taiwan Province of China in May 2016, have led to the spike in the amount of methamphetamine seized in 2016.
 
Source: The Asahi Shimbun

For more information, see
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201702230059.html

 

February 2017 – Singapore: Government of Singapore has released the latest drug situation report

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore has released a report that overviews the country’s drug situation in 2016. According to the report, a total of 3,243 drug users were arrested in 2016, 3 % decrease compared to 2015 (3,343 arrestees).  However, the number of drug users arrested for the first time in the country increased by 3% from 1,309 in 2015 to 1,347 in 2016, of which about two-thirds of them were below 30 years old. Data from the report indicate that methamphetamine is the most preferred choice of drug among people arrested for drug use. Among 1,347 drug users arrested for the first time, nearly 80% (1,068 arrestees) used methamphetamine while heroin only accounted for 5% (70 arrestees) of the total.



Photo copyright ©: CNB, Singapore 

Seizures of crystalline methamphetamine in 2016 amounted to 18.3 kg, increased by 17% compared to 2015 (15.6 kg). 


Source: CNB, Singapore

For more information, see
https://www.cnb.gov.sg/Libraries/CNB_Newsroom_Files/CNB_Annual_Stats_Release_for_2016_docx.sflb.ashx

 

Feb 2017 – New Zealand: Customs stops 1.2 tons of methamphetamine

Auckland, New Zealand: The New Zealand Customs Service has announced that a total of 413 kg of methamphetamine, together with 1.1 tons of methamphetamine-related precursor chemicals, were seized in 2016 at the border. The amount of methamphetamine seized at the border in 2016 (413 kg) is more than one and a half times of the amount seized in 2015 (283 kg), five times more than 2014 (82 kg), and 20 times more than that of 2013 (21 kg).

Source: New Zealand Customs Service

For more information, see
http://www.customs.govt.nz/news/stories/Pages/Customs-stops-1.2-tonnes-of-methamphetamine-28022017.aspx

 

February 2017 – UNODC: Updated synthetic drug trend chapters for the Mekong countries

The UNODC Global SMART team has updated national synthetic drug trend chapters for the 6 Mekong countries, namely Cambodia, China, including Hong Kong (China), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. Prepared with official sources received from the Governments, the chapters provide recent developments of the synthetic drug markets in the counties.

Some of key findings include:

·    Cambodia: The total number of arrests for drug-related offences in the country increased approximately eighteen-fold from 394 persons in 2008 to 7,008 persons in 2015, largely driven by synthetic drugs;
·    China: Over 80% of newly registered drug users (531,000) in 2015 were using synthetic drugs, indicating that synthetic drugs may have replaced opiates as the primary drug group of concern in the country;
·    Lao PDR: At almost 142 kg, the total amount of crystalline methamphetamine seized in the country in 2015 was the highest ever reported for Lao PDR;
·    Myanmar:  In 2015, driven by large single incidents, seizures of both methamphetamine pill and crystalline form reached a record high;
·    Thailand: Thailand reported the emergence of mephedrone, ethylone, dimethylone, XLR-11, TFMPP, butylone, and flephedron in recent years; and
·    Viet Nam: There are indications that amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) use is growing in the country. For instance, ATS users accounted for 90% of newly registered drug users in some southern provinces in the country in the first half of 2015.

For more information, see 
Cambodia: http://www.apaic.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=372&Itemid=803
China: http://www.apaic.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=373&Itemid=804
Lao PDR: http://www.apaic.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=376&Itemid=807
Myanmar: http://www.apaic.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=499&Itemid=809
Thailand: http://www.apaic.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=383&Itemid=814
Viet Nam: http://www.apaic.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=384&Itemid=815