Latest news on synthetic drugs - February 2018

February 2018 – Indonesia: 1 ton of methamphetamine seized off the coast of Batam

On 7th February, the Indonesian Navy captured a fishing boat trafficking more than one metric ton of crystalline methamphetamine off the waters of Batam Island. Four crew members from Taiwan Province of China were arrested. The drug was found in 41 rice bags, amounting to 1,037.6 kg. Several media reports suggest that the drug was destined to Australia. The origin of the drug is unknown, and investigations are ongoing.

This case resembles the case reported in July 2017 from Indonesia, which was also involved with nearly 1 ton of crystalline methamphetamine and resulted in the arrest of members of Hong Kong and Taiwanese transnational organized crime groups.

Photo copyright ©: Indonesian Navy

For more information regarding the case, please see (Bahasa)


February 2018 – Indonesia: 1 tons of methamphetamine seized

Australian authorities seized approximately 2,000 litres of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). The drug was concealed in drums trafficked from oversea. Several search warrants were issued across Sydney where a 30-year-old man was arrested.

GBL is not internationally controlled, as it is an solvent and reagent in industry. However, GBL is also used as a prodrug of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), which was placed under international control in 2011 and commonly referred to as “liquid ecstasy”, “Georgia Home Boy” and “G”. GHB has been associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault.

Photo copyright ©: Australian Border Force

For more information regarding the case, please see

For more information regarding GHB and GBL


February 2018 – Singapore: Methamphetamine accounts for the largest proportion of drug users in 2017

Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore has released its latest drug situation report. According to the report, a total of 3,089 drug users were arrested in 2017, a 5 % decrease from the number of arrestees in 2016 (3,265).

Of the 3,089 arrestees in 2017, 1,989 people were used methamphetamine, accounting for 64 % of the total. The number of arrested heroin users was 847, accounting for 27% of the total. About 40% of the all arrested drug users were newly identified drug users (1,249), and 80% of them (1,000) were known to have used methamphetamine, followed by cannabis (157).

It is important to note that methamphetamine has been accounting for the largest proportion of all drug users arrested in each year since 2015, surpassing the number of users arrested for heroin. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of arrestees for methamphetamine in the country increased by approximately 62% while the number for heroin decreased by 69%. This trend could indicate methamphetamine has replaced heroin as the most widely used drug in the country.

Photo copyright ©: Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore

For more information regarding the case, please see