Is there any place in the world that is more difficult in terms of accessibility than North Korea? Some say jokingly, yes. That is the Shan state. It’s easier to get to and from North Korea than Shan State!
There is, of course, a real reason behind such jokes. And when you look for that reason, the image of a dark world comes out.
Shan State is located in the northern part of Myanmar. China on the northern border of the state. Laos on the eastern border. Thailand on the southern border. Multiple armed small ethnic groups are active in this state of Myanmar.
Shan State is part of the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is an area where Laos and Thailand share a border with Myanmar. That is, the Golden Triangle consists of the triangles of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. The Golden Triangle is best known for its drug production and smuggling.
According to a report in the US media CNN, there is no lawlessness in the Golden Triangle. Due to this, drugs can be produced there without any hindrance. Again, it can be hidden in the fastest time. Currently, large quantities of yaba are produced in the deep forests of the Golden Triangle area.
Yaba is a methamphetamine-type drug. The main ingredient in yaba production is the chemical amphetamine. These materials are smuggled from China and Thailand to Myanmar. Tablet-shaped yaba comes in multiple colors and flavors. Yaba is a cheap and low quality drug. Another meth-like drug is produced in the Golden Triangle, known as Crystal Meth or Ice. Ice is more expensive than yaba. Ice’s response is also much higher.
From opium-heroin to meth
Opium and heroin were once widely produced in the Golden Triangle area. But by the end of the last century, drug traffickers were increasingly shifting from opium and heroin to methamphetamine-producing drugs (yaba, ice). The issue has come up in the reports of various organizations including the United Nations.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, opium-heroin production is declining in the Golden Triangle. Methamphetamine-like drugs are occupying that place. Because, the production and transportation of such drugs is easy and safe. The cost of producing this drug is low. But the benefits are high.
The legacy of drugs For
decades, drugs and Myanmar have been mutually supportive. That’s according to a report by US News & World Report.
According to a 2015 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Myanmar is the main source of methamphetamine seized in the Mekong sub-region and in various parts of East and Southeast Asia.
According to Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia and Pacific Representative at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, based on what they see, Myanmar is probably the world’s largest producer of meth. Meth production in Myanmar has been on the rise for a decade. But over the years the rate of production has increased dramatically.
In an analysis published in the Indian media The Wire, Vaishali Basu Sharma, a consultant at the Policy Perspectives Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank, noted that Myanmar has the largest number of secret laboratories for yaba production.
Myanmar’s Shan state is the source of a large part of the large amount of meth-drugs seized in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report in the US media CNN.
According to news agencies Reuters and the International Crisis Group, most of the yaba spread in the Asia-Pacific region is produced in Shan State.
Shan rajyasaha Golden Triangle area methaayamphitamina to the extent that such drugs are being produced, the mean prevalence of the ‘storm’ is compared with the former head of the Australian Federal Police Strategic Intelligence John Coen. He is currently working on border security at a think tank called the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. According to him, such drugs are leading Southeast Asia to an epidemic.
In the 1990s, Myanmar’s military signed a ceasefire agreement with several of the country’s armed minorities. As a result of this agreement, some groups are able to control the area under their control. There is little or no central government surveillance. Such is the situation in Shan State. Armed groups active in the area have relied on the drug economy to carry out their activities.
According to reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and CNN, local armed groups control drug production and trafficking. Foreign criminal gangs are partners in this work. They are now leaning towards methamphetamine-type drug production.
years after the spread of yaba , the Golden Triangle was one of the most remote and underdeveloped areas in the world. But now that situation is changing. At the heart of this change is the development of communication infrastructure. China also has ‘achievements’ here. The country’s much-talked-about ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative has brought ‘benefits’ to drug traffickers in the region. According to John Cohen, former head of strategic intelligence at the Australian Federal Police, the development of communication infrastructure is paving the way for drug trafficking. Due to this, drugs are easily transported from remote areas of Shan State in Myanmar to different parts of Southeast Asia. Yaba has spread to China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh. Yaba shipments are being caught in these countries every day.
Demand is huge,
with meth-dominated drugs now dominating across Asia. According to Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia and Pacific Representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, people in Asia are using meth-drugs, regardless of age, class, occupation or gender. He had never seen such a huge demand for any drug in his nearly a decade and a half of career. This demand is not comparable to anything else.
According to the Destination and Transit Bangladesh
Narcotics Control Department, about 23 crore yaba has been seized in the country in the last one decade. Most of these yabais have been seized in the last five years. 2 crore 1 lakh yaba was seized in 2015. 2 crore 94 lakh in 2017. 4 crore in 2016. 5 crore 30 lakh in 2017. 3 crore 4 lakh in 2019. 3 crore 63 lakh in 2020.
In the network of yaba trafficking, Bangladesh is a transit and destination at the same time. This is according to an analysis by Vaishali Basu Sharma, a consultant with the Policy Perspectives Foundation, a think tank on yaba trafficking. The same information has come up in the recent statements of the officials of the law enforcement and drug control department of Bangladesh.
According to Vaishali Basu Sharma, yaba used to enter Bangladesh from Myanmar via Teknaf. But as a result of increased surveillance by law enforcement, yaba is now entering Bangladesh through alternative or new routes. Yaba is entering Bangladesh through Naikhyangchhari upazila of Bandarban. Besides, a large number of yaba is also coming to Bangladesh from India.