Migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos reportedly pay human smugglers up to $192 Million a year in order to be smuggled into Thailand. Most of the revenue for smugglers is generated from Myanmar, where migrants pays an estimated $183 Million to human smugglers to bring them into Thailand. Migrants from Cambodia pay $4.7 Million, and people from Laos pay $4.3 Million to the smugglers.
The United Nations estimates that over 500,000 people are smuggled into Thailand each year.
(Prices paid to human smugglers.)
Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page iv.
An estimated 3.3 million people across the East Asia and Pacific region consume heroin on an annual basis. In China, an estimated 2,366,000 people used heroin in 2010, followed by Indonesia with 247,000 users, Vietnam with 155,000 heroin users, and Myanmar with 100,000 users.
In 2011, up to 65 tons of pure heroin was believed to have been consumed across the region.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that the heroin market in the region is worth $16.3 Billion.
Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page vi.
690 tons of opium was grown in Myanmar in 2012. According to security officials in the country, the value of the opium was worth $359 Million on the global drug market.
There are around 256,000 households in Myanmar who are involved in poppy cultivation.
Source: Charlie Campbell, “Obstacles Ahead in Burma’s Opium War,” Time, March 19, 2013.
In 2007, the Government of Myanmar established a task force dedicated to combating human trafficking within its border. Between 2007 and 2012, the task force has reportedly rescued over 1,700 victims of human trafficking.
80 percent of the human trafficking victims in Myanmar end up being trafficked to China. The remaining 20 percent are trafficked to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Source: Kate Hodal, “Duped women fight back as Burma gets to grips with human trafficking,” Guardian, December 24, 2012.
In 2012, the financial value of opium produced in Laos and Myanmar was estimated to be worth $431 Million, according to the United Nations.The value of the opium from the two countries was a third higher than in 2011.
The farm-gate prices for a kilogram of opium in Laos was reported to be $1,800. In Myanmar, the farm gate price of a kilogram was $520.
38,000 households are involved in the growing of opium in Laos, and 300,000 households grow the drug in Myanmar.
(World Heroin Prices)
Source: “Asia drug boom fuels surge in opium cultivation,” Bangkok Post, October 31, 2012.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 690 tons of opium was estimated to have been produced in Myanmar in 2011 to 2012. Despite government actions destroying almost 24,000 hectares of poppy fields during the 2012 harvest season, the amount of poppy cultivation in the country increased by 17 percent.
Myanmar supplies 10 percent of the world’s opium, second to Afghanistan.
Farmers growing poppies in Myanmar are able to earn 19 times more money for every hectare than they would growing rice, according to the UNODC.
Source: Paul Carsten, “Myanmar opium output rises despite eradication effort,” Reuters, October 31, 2012.
An official with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stationed in Myanmar stated that a farmer in the country can earn up to $6 a day from growing opium. In comparison, a farmer growing rice in Myanmar makes about $1.20 a day.
Source: Flavia Krause-Jackson, “Myanmar’s Opium Growers Struggle to Get by With Potatoes,” Bloomberg, April 30, 2012.
Drug smuggling gangs are undercutting the crystal meth market in Thailand by selling the drug at a cheaper price then the Myanmar drug dealers.
Police report that traffickers from Iran are selling a kilogram of crystal meth in Thailand for $26,000 (800,000 Thai Baht), undercutting the Myanmar traffickers, who sell a kilogram of crystal meth for $81,000 (2.5 Million Thai Baht).
The Iranians are able to sell their drugs at a cheaper price due to using lesser amounts of pseudoephedrine.
(See prices of meth worldwide.)
Source: “Cops fret as Africa, Iran dealers push meth locally,” Bangkok Post, April 16, 2012.
In 2012, there were an estimated 170,000 drug users in Malaysia. A majority of the intravenous drug users in the country abused heroin.
Of all the drug arrests in the country, about half were for abusing opiates.
The heroin that is used in Malaysia is trafficked from Myanmar, Laos and West Asia.
Source: Liz Gooch, “Malaysian Mosque Is Also a Methadone Clinic,” New York Times, March 28, 2012.
Police in the Chinese province of Yunnan seized 13.5 tons of illegal drugs in 2011 and arrested 17,000 drug smugglers. The province shares a border with the country of Myanmar, which produces 12 percent of the world’s opium.
Source: Patrick Boehler, “Chinese Drug Busts Shed Light on Burma’s Burgeoning Trade,” Irrawaddy, March 26, 2012.