Taipei, Taiwan authorities on Tuesday defended their efforts to counter illicit drugs following a report published by the United Nations that Taiwan-based crime syndicates play an indispensable role in methamphetamine production and trafficking in East and Southeast Asia.
While transnational organized crime (TOC) groups have been increasingly involved in the manufacture and trafficking of methamphetamine and other drugs in the Golden Triangle in recent years, Taiwanese TOC groups have been playing a significant role in these operations, according to the report released Monday by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
The Golden Triangle refers to the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.
Touting its anti-drugs achievements, Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said in a statement that from 2017 to 2018, a total of 39 transnational drug trafficking cases were cracked, with 3,727 kilograms of drugs seized and 396 suspects arrested.
The bureau noted that in recent years, the network of transnational drug-trafficking groups has spread across many countries and there have been numerous cases of traffickers taking customer orders in one place, while manufacturing the illicit drugs and processing shipments at other locations.
Amid these trends, the CIB said, police in Taiwan have been cooperating with foreign law enforcement authorities to share best practices and information on drug-related matters.
For example, the agency said, in 2017, Taiwan and Indonesian police units jointly seized 1,000 kg of amphetamines from China, while Taiwan and Korea seized 112 kg of amphetamines from Thailand in October the following year.
According to the CIB, Taiwan has police liaison officers stationed in 11 other countries, including Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
Titled "Synthetic Drugs in East and Southeast Asia: Trends and Patterns of Amphetamine-type Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances," the U.N. report lays out major trends and emerging concerns in drug production in the region.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel