Fentanyl Crisis: Thriving During the Pandemic
For years, the illicit fentanyl epidemic has swept through North America, causing a large number of deaths and casualties. Now, there are signs that it has reached the shores of Southeast Asia, presenting a clear and present danger to the regional authorities. By Lee Kok Leong, executive editor, Maritime Fairtrade
In a bizarre way, the Asian drug cartels, just like certain legitimate industries, are profiting off the pandemic. While countries are enforcing lockdowns to restrict physical travel and movement of goods, there is hardly any impact on the synthetic drug supply coming out of the Golden Triangle. In fact, the pandemic has provided a business opportunity for these drug kingpins to expand their market share and prove how resilient and innovative they are.
“It is hard to imagine that organized crime has again managed to expand the drug market, but they have”, said Douglas. “While the world has shifted its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”