Latest news on synthetic drugs - March 2017


March 2017 – Australia: National wastewater drug monitoring program

Canberra, Australia: A report on wastewater analysis, conducted to assess the level of national drug consumption in Australia, confirms that methamphetamine is the highest consumed illicit drug among 13 tested substances in the country. The tested substances are:

• Methamphetamine
• Amphetamine
• Cocaine
• MDMA (Ecstasy)
• JWH-018
• JWH-073
• Mephedrone
• Methylone
• Oxycodone
• Fentanyl
• Tobacco
• Alcohol

The estimated national average consumption of methamphetamine is 35 does per 1,000 people per day in 2016. If the figure is compared with data from 17 European countries, Australia has the second highest total estimated consumption among the countries.

In addition, the report also points out that pharmaceutical synthetic opioids (oxycodone and fentanyl) use across all jurisdictions is at concerning levels.

Source: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)

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March 2017 – China: New annual report on drug control in China

Beijing, China: The National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) of China has released its new annual report on drug control. According to the report, Chinese national authorities seized 82.1 tons of various illicit drugs, including 17.4 tons of crystalline methamphetamine, 11.6 tons of methamphetamine pills, 10.4 tons of ketamine, and 8.8 tons of heroin. The report also says 357,000 people received treatment for drug use and 168,000 people were arrested for drug production and trafficking.

Source: The Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China

For more information, see (Chinese)


March 2017 – New Zealand: Seizure of a new form of methamphetamine

Auckland, New Zealand: The New Zealand Customs Service, in cooperation with the New Zealand Police, seized a new form of methamphetamine, t-boc methamphetamine, which is chemically masked to prevent it from detection, and can be converted to methamphetamine through a chemical process. The seized t-boc methamphetamine could be converted to approximately 120 kg of methamphetamine. It was the first time that this form of methamphetamine was seized. It was shipped from Hong Kong (China) by cargo.

Source: New Zealand Customs Service

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March 2017 – China: 86 kg of khat seized

Shanghai, China: According to media reports, 86 kg of khat (Catha edulis) originating from Africa by express mail was seized in China. Khat is a plant native to the horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and has mild stimulant effects. Over the years, several countries in Asia and the Pacific have been used as transit points for khat trafficking. Khat is not internationally controlled but is under national control in several countries.

Source: Shanghai Daily

For more information on the incident, see

For more information on khat, see


March 2017 – Australia: 540 kg of methamphetamine seized in Sydney

Sydney, Australia: Australian national authorities stopped the importation of 540 kg of methamphetamine into Sydney and arrested eight people on related charges. The seized drug was trafficked by sea cargo, which departed from the United States.

Source: Australian Border Force & Australian Federal Police

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