Mexican drug cartels reach Japan; meth seizures double

Andrew V. Pestano

WASHINGTON, March 4 (UPI) -- A report released Wednesday by the International Narcotics Control Board revealed that Mexican drug cartels have extended their reach to Japan, where methamphetamine seizures have doubled compared to the previous year.

The Control Board, a United Nations organization, released its annual report Wednesday and concluded that Mexican drug cartel influence has also created a "significant" increase in crime associated with the drug.


Although most of the methamphetamine abused in east and southeast Asia is produced within the region, sources for methamphetamine have originated from Africa to Iran.

"In a worrying development, trafficking of amphetamine-type stimulants through East Africa (e.g. Ethiopia and Kenya) for onward shipment by plane to east and southeast Asia has continued," the Control Board states. "The latest reports from the authorities in Japan suggest an increasing influence of Mexican cartels on its domestic methamphetamine traffic."

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The Attorney General's Office of Mexico suspects gangs in Hong Kong are making deals with Mexican drug cartels by helping give the cartels the precursor chemicals to making meth.

It is not the first time Mexican drug cartels have impacted the region. In 2013, about 185 pounds of methamphetamine were found on suspected members of the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel.


"In facing the world drug problem, all countries find their destinies intertwined," International Narcotics Control Board President Lochan Naidoo said in the report. "In tackling the world drug problem, all countries face shared challenges and have a common purpose in promoting the health and welfare of their peoples and, together, of humankind."

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Border seizures between the United States and Mexico have increased. More than 10 tons of meth were seized in 2014, compared to just 2 tons in 2008.

The board also released recommendations to create "a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach to the world drug problem."

Recommendations include cooperation between all government levels and relevant actors, as well as placing emphasis on decreasing supply and demand by "taking into consideration the socioeconomic, sociocultural, security and stability aspects that have an impact on the drug problem."

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