The latest, and largest, Fentanyl drug bust in Asia sparks concern that the opioid crisis is about to sweep across Asia.
Where is Fentanyl manufactured and how does it get to the United States? Much of it comes from factories in China and are simply shipped here through the mail becuase it is easy to conceal. But this monumental new seizure occurred in Myanmar. It was the biggest interception ever of illicit drugs, precursors, and drug-making equipment, and included 193 million methamphetamine tablets known as yaba.
At 17.5 tons, the yaba almost equalled the amount seized in the previous two years in Myanmar. Fentanyl and its derivatives are the most dangerous street drugs and have caused more than 130,000 overdose deaths in the United States and Canada in the past five years, according to government agencies.
While meth use, Yaba, has been on the rise, the opioid epidemic has not yet swept Asia, Europe or Australasia. There have been signs that opioids are an emerging threat, so the discovery of drug making operations in Myanmar is an ominous sign.
Fentanyl is cheap to make and easy to traffic
As well as being easier and cheaper to produce than heroin, strong synthetic opioids like fentanyl can be readily concealed and transported as only small amounts can deliver thousands of doses.
At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has closed borders and curbed movements in many countries, the concern is that fentanyl will still spread around the world.
Reporting by Tom Allard; Editing by Robert Birsel for the full story click here.