Latest news on synthetic drugs - October 2017

<October 2017 – UNODC-SMART: 2017 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment is launched

VIENNA, Austria – October 2017: The 2017 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment provides an analysis of the global synthetic drugs market in two parts. The first part consists of regional overviews that highlight context-specific dynamics relating to the demand and supply of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in Africa, Central and Southwest Asia, East and South-East Asia and Oceania, Europe, the Near and Middle East, North and Central America, and South Central America. The second part of this report presents a global thematic analysis of the key trends and emerging developments of the synthetic drugs market.

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UNODC report - “2017 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment”


October 2017 – UNODC: Commission on Narcotic Drugs decision on international control of 4-MEC, Ethylone, Pentedrone, Ethylphenidate, MPA, MDMB-CHMICA, 5F-APINACA, and XLR-11 enters into force

VIENNA, Austria – 18 October 2017: The decision of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) during its 60th Session from 13 to 17 March 2017 to add 4-Methylethcathinone (4-MEC), Ethylone, Pentedrone (α-Methylaminovalerophenone), Ethylphenidate (EPH), Methiopropamine (MPA), MDMB-CHMICA, 5F-APINACA (5F-AKB-48) and XLR-11 to Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 has entered into force.

Previously, on 22 April 2017, the decision adopted by the CND during its 60th Session to add U-47700 and Butyrfentanyl to Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 entered into force.

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Detailed information on the thirty-eighth meeting, substance evaluation and previous committees of the WHO ECDD –

EWA news clip on Commission on Narcotic Drugs decision on international control of U-47700 and Butyrfentanyl enters into force -


October 2017 – Myanmar: 250 kg of methamphetamine in Shan State

On 26th October, Myanmar authorities announced that they had seized 250 kg of crystalline methamphetamine. The drug was found in the back of a car while Myanmar soldiers and border officers searched the car at a toll gate in eastern Shan State.

Photo copyright ©: Office of the Commander-in-Chief

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October 2017 – Malaysia: Large amount of ketamine seized in Malaysia

The Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) division made its largest drug seizure this year at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) cargo complex.
On Oct 19 2017, Malaysian authorities found 6 boxes containing 248 packages of Chinese tea bags. Upon the initial investigation, the packages contain about 254 kg of ketamine, and the drug was bound to Taipei, Taiwan Province of China.

Photo copyright ©: Free Malaysia Today

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October 2017 – Australia: 2016 survey indicates that life-time use of synthetic cannabinoids increases while recent use falls

CANBERRA, Australia – September 2017: Findings of the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey conducted among almost 24,000 people across Australia, show a significant increase in the lifetime use of synthetic cannabinoids for people aged 14 years or older, rising from 1.3 per cent in 2013 to 2.8 per cent in 2016, whereas recent use (use in the last 12 months) dropped substantially from 1.2 per cent to 0.3 per cent.

Figure 1. Lifetime and recent use of synthetic cannabinoids and other NPS, people aged 14 or older, 2013 and 2016 (%)

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016, 2017.

For more information, please see:

Website of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare “National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016: detailed findings”

Report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the “National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016”


October 2017 – Thailand: 400 kg of crystalline methamphetamine seized

On 3 October, 2017, Thailand law enforcement authorities announced that they had seized 400 kg of crystalline methamphetamine, and arrested two Thai nationals at near the border in Chiang Mai province. This case also shows a series of recent methamphetamine trafficking attempts from the Golden Triangle involved with large amounts of the drug. For instance, in June 2017, Thailand national authorities seized nearly 300 kg of crystalline methamphetamine together with 1.7 million methamphetamine pills.
According to the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) of Thailand, more than 3.5 tons of crystalline methamphetamine were seized during the first half of 2017, and the amount of the drug seized during the period already surpassed the total amount of the drug seized in 2016, indicating the intensified drug production and trafficking from the Golden Triangle.

Photo copyright ©: Bangkok Post

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October 2017 – Australia: Record amount of methamphetamine making chemical seized

About 3.9 tons of ephedrine, a major methamphetamine precursor chemical, were seized in Australia as a result of joint investigation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF). It was by far the largest amount of ephedrine seizure in the country.

On 15 September 2017, ABF officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility detected a sea cargo consignment, which contained more than 1,000 cartons filled with bottle of iced tea. Preemptive testing of bottles revealed that about one-third of the cartons were positive for ephedrine. The sea cargo was shipped from Thailand.

Australian law enforcement authorities also seized 350 kg of methamphetamine at Port Botany, Sydney, on 23 September 2017.

Photo copyright ©: Australian Federal Police

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