Why It Matters

Missing piece in war on drugs

A total of 1,187kg of crystal methamphetamine, which was disguised as tea in a shipment from Myanmar, was seized last Tuesday. Six suspects have been arrested.
A total of 1,187kg of crystal methamphetamine, which was disguised as tea in a shipment from Myanmar, was seized last Tuesday. Six suspects have been arrested.PHOTO: REUTERS

Massive seizures of methamphetamine pills in the region are hardly making a dent on the trade. Local authorities, say experts, tend to focus too much on seizing narcotics in transit rather than on collecting intelligence that could lead them to the producers.

But stopping the production of synthetic drugs is also more complicated. Unlike heroin, which is made from opium poppy, methamphetamines are created entirely in laboratories, from chemical ingredients called precursors.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2018, with the headline 'Missing piece in war on drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe