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UN urges measures to stop arms trafficking fueling Haiti’s gang wars

Reuters The head of the United Nation’s drugs and crime office on Thursday warned of a “vicious cycle” of arms trafficking to increasingly powerful Haitian gangs, fueling an internal conflict and worsening violence across the Caribbean. “It’s more important than ever to take every measure possible to prevent illicit flows,” the UNODC’s executive director, Ghada […]

Myanmar is now world’s largest source of opium, UN says

A dried poppy is seen in a field next to a mulberry farm in Tangyan township in Lashio District, northern Shan State, Myanmar, on 22nd April, 2018.

Bangkok, Thailand Reuters Myanmar has become the world’s largest source of opium, thanks to domestic instability and a decline in cultivation in Afghanistan, the United Nations said in a report on Tuesday. The 95 per cent decline in opium cultivation in Afghanistan after a drug ban by the Taliban in 2022 has seen global supply […]

Ecuador turns surfeit of seized cocaine into concrete

Workers carry a mix of seized cocaine and coca paste with industrial waste to produce cement slurry to be used in a construction, at a waste treatment plant at an undisclosed location, in Ecuador February 10, 2023.

Quito, EcuadorReuters Huge quantities of seized drugs in Ecuador are presenting the Andean country with an unlikely new construction material: cocaine. Under President Guillermo Lasso, a conservative ex-banker, Ecuador has ramped up efforts to fight gangs who use the country as a transit point for shipping cocaine to the United States and Europe. Workers carry […]

COVID-19 cut known human trafficking, but Ukraine war a risk: UN

New York UN building and logo

Vienna, Austria Reuters The COVID-19 pandemic led to the first drop in the known number of human-trafficking victims in 20 years as trafficking opportunities and policing were reduced, but the Ukraine war has probably now caused a new surge, a UN report said on Tuesday. The number of detected trafficking victims fell 11 per cent […]

Colombia’s potential cocaine production at record high, UN says

Colombia Turbo seized cocaine

Bogota, ColombiaReuters Potential production of cocaine in Colombia and the area sown with coca, the drug’s base ingredient, rose last year to their highest levels in two decades of monitoring, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said on Thursday. Possible output rose 14 per cent to 1,400 metric tons and the area sown […]

Cannabis use has risen with legalisation and COVID lockdowns – UN report

Thailand Bangkok cannabis

Vienna, Austria Reuters Places including US states that have legalised cannabis appear to have increased its regular use, while COVID lockdowns had a similar effect, raising the risk of depression and suicide, a UN report said on Monday. Cannabis has long been the world’s most widely used drug and that use is increasing while the […]

Drug trafficking surging in year since Myanmar coup

Thailand Ayutthaya drug seizure

Reuters Increased instability in Myanmar since a military coup a year ago has seen a surge in narcotics production there and trafficking into Southeast Asia and beyond, a senior official from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime told Reuters. Authorities in Laos, Thailand and Myanmar seized at least 90 million methamphetamine tablets and 4.4 […]

Indian state launches assault on drugs as UN warns of Bangladesh-like crisis

India Assam drug destruction

Guwahati, India Reuters A north-eastern Indian state that has for years been a big transit point for illicit drugs originating in neighbouring Myanmar has launched a massive crackdown on the trade, seizing record amounts and arresting nearly 2,000 people since May. Assam, four of whose neighbouring states have open and rugged borders with Myanmar, connects […]