06/24/2015, 00.00
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Beijing slams "Golden Triangle" as source of China’s killer drugs

Border area between Myanmar, Laos and Thailand is a drug trafficking hub. Heroin and methamphetamines produced there and then flooded onto the market across the border. 90% of drugs seized last year by the Beijing government came from the region.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The "Golden Triangle" - the no man's land on the border of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand dedicated to the cultivation of drugs - remains, even today, the main source of production of heroin and methamphetamine that is flooding the Chinese market. This has been confirmed by a report released today by the Beijing government, according to which 90% of the 9.3 tons of heroin and 11.4 tons of methamphetamine seized in 2014 were produced in the region, which borders the southern Chinese province of Yunnan .

In contrast, the heroine from the Golden Crescent - the area that also includes Afghanistan, which remains the largest producer of opium in the world - covers only 2% of the total of drugs seized in China.

The government report, the first on drug use of a scientific nature by Beijing, points out that "the Golden Triangle continues to be the most dangerous region in the field of drug production for China". Experts speak of a "persistent" regional "threat" in spite of the authorities’ efforts to stop drug trafficking along the border, fueled by criminal groups, gangs and armed rebels in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities.

A report by the United Nations Organization for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2013 reported that the "Golden Triangle" covers "at least 18%" of the production and sale of the world's opium. And last year Myanmar was placed second, behind Afghanistan, in the global production of opiates due to growth of crops by the Shan and Kachin ethnic minorities who are often at war with the central government of Burma.

According to state experts, last year the use of synthetic drugs - methamphetamine and ketamine - surpassed heroin in popularity and spread. Since the early 1980s, with the loosening of controls on the trafficking and consumption of drugs coincided with the rise to power of the communists in 1949, China recorded a growing trend in the use of drugs.

To date, in China there are at least 3 million certificated addicts, but when you consider the number of those who have tried drugs at least once in a lifetime this number climbs up to 14 million (out of a total of 1.4 billion). Added to this is the fact that users are increasingly younger and come from various social and economic spheres; they experiment with various types of substances, including cocaine from South America.

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