Increased Drug Trade in Golden Triangle: Security Implications
29 July 2022
Shan State and the Golden Triangle The Shan state of Myanmar is the largest producer of illegal drugs within the infamous Golden Triangle—a tri-junction at the Myanmar, Laos and Thailand borders. [...] Before Afghan drug produce flooded the international market in the 1990s, the Golden Triangle was the largest producer of heroin in the world. [...] Since the 2010s, however, production of the more potent and profitable methamphetamine has made the region, the world’s largest producer and exporter of meth.4 Much of the precursor chemicals are sourced easily from across the border in China to the Shan state, while some amounts are also procured from India. [...] Opium produced in Manipur and Mizoram along the border regions is also transported to the Golden Triangle, where it is processed into heroin and sent back to India.13 The Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), SN Pradhan, calls the synthetic drug problem along the country’s north-eastern border “even worse” than the north-western borders.14 The north-eastern states of Manipur, 7 “. [...] In a seizure in the last quarter of 2021, the NCB found 2.2 kg of heroin, 3 kg of methamphetamine, 10.4 kg of amphetamine, and almost one kilogram of methamphetamine tablets from the Guwahati zone and Imphal sub-zone.