Organized crime groups in Southeast Asia "dangerous": UN office

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-18 19:02:20|Editor: xuxin
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BANGKOK, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The United Nation said on Thursday that profits generated by organized crime groups in Southeast Asia have reached "dangerous" level.

The report "Transnational Organized Crime in Southeast Asia: Evolution, Growth and Impact," released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicated that large criminal groups have scaled up and moved operations to areas with weak governance.

Corruption and money laundering through casinos are highlighted as significant challenges for the region, the report said.

UNODC Regional Representative Jeremy Douglas said in the press conference that synthetic drugs have rapidly become the most profitable illicit business in Southeast Asia as organized crime groups have innovated their business model and engineered an expansion of the methamphetamine market.

"The Asia-Pacific meth market is now the biggest in the world," said Douglas, "of all the organized crime types, meth trafficking is the most dangerous and the most profitable. It underpins the growing power of these transnational crime groups."

The most valuable markets in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea account for 20 billion U.S. dollars or a third of the high-end estimate, the report showed.

More than 12 million users in East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand consumed about 320 tons of pure meth last year, the report said.