31 October, 2020

Poppy Barons On The 'Speed' Boat

The opium story nears its end. Myanmar's Golden Triangle shifts to synthetic drugs, pulling India into a deadlier input-output chain.

Poppy Barons On The 'Speed' Boat
Beyond the menace of terrorism, Northeast India now has to grapple with a fresh, perilous twist in its old companion tale: drugs. With the Thai government cracking down on the trafficking of illegal drugs from Myanmar’s notorious Golden Triangle nearly a year ago, and the harried drug barons seeking new markets for their trade, western anti-narcotic specialists based in the region say the last few months have seen a significant spurt in the flow of synthetic drugs into India.

Earlier, opium and heroin were pushed across Myanmar into the states of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal; these also found their way into the streets of Calcutta. Now the trafficking of synthetic designer drugs—particularly methamphetamines and amphetamines (also called speed, the classic ‘upper’)—is beginning to mount. Says an Indian government official, "India is likely to be flooded by drugs from Myanmar’s Golden Triangle in the coming year unless Rangoon takes greater preventive measures."

Most of Myanmar’s drugs are produced in Shan state in the northeast of the country,...



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