Laos police have seized a record 1.5 metric tons of narcotics during a border seizure at the Golden Triangle’s Lao border with China, South Korea and Japan. The Lao Times and Cambodia Daily both reported that the drugs included methamphetamine (aka “ice”) and heroin (aka “tar” in Southeast Asia).
A police spokesperson told the Daily news that the drugs “affected” 553 people and that the drug trafficking investigation is ongoing.
Laos is considered a leader in Southeast Asia’s methamphetamine or “ice” trade because of its large western border, as well as the experience of its armies on the battlefields of the 1980s and 1990s.
According to Bangkok Post, Laboum, where the drugs were seized, is known for its meth labs, with technicians there directly recruited by Chinese drug syndicates.
Reuters reported last year that the Lao Laos are “among the highest users of methamphetamine in Asia” while the San Francisco Gate reported that the majority of drug lords in the Golden Triangle, “believe it a divine order to destroy Laos…and use Asian smuggling routes, which are less heavily policed than in countries like Thailand and Vietnam,” to get their drugs in.
They also worry that Laos will become a target because of its proximity to China, which is investing heavily in its southern neighbor.
In November, Laos joined the China-led Central East Asian Regional Cooperation.