South American cartels trafficking more drugs to East Asia: US
MANILA (AFP) - Latin American cartels are trafficking growing amounts of cocaine and methamphetamines to increasingly wealthy East Asian countries, a top US anti-narcotics official said on Wednesday.
Falling demand in the United States is driving the criminal gangs to look for new markets, US Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield told a news conference in Manila.
"As the United States is increasingly successful in interrupting the flow of cocaine and methamphetamines from South America... these drug trafficking organisations will look for new markets, and some of those new markets will be in East Asia," Mr Brownfield said.
Cocaine consumption in the US had dropped by more than 40 per cent over the past six years, he said. At the same time, cocaine prices in Europe and East Asia have risen.