Hong Kong

Hong Kong cannabis interceptions soaring

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Hong KongCannabis seizures are rapidly escalating in Hong Kong—whether due to greater quantities on the market or stepped-up enforcement, or both. The city's South China Morning Post reports June 19 on a haul of 35 kilos in 136 baggies ready for sale, uncovered in a vehicle during a police raid on a car park. Three were arrested. Police estimated the street value of the load at HK$10 million (about US$1.3 million). As recently as May 27, the SCMP reported a police raid on an industrial building in the city's Tai Po district that netted 110 kilos, worth HK$19 million. (Obviously, the math is not adding up here, raising questions about how the Hong Kong cops arrive at their estimates.)

Giving new meaning to the word 'bust'

Posted on February 18th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

OceaniaAustralian police on Feb. 15 announced the seizure of 720 liters of liquid methamphetamine with an estimated street value of A$1 billion (about US$700 million)—hidden in gel bra inserts. The laundered bra shipment, which also included art supplies similarly used to hide the meth, were found in a storage unit in Sydney. Four were charged: three men from Hong Kong and a Chinese national. The joint operation involved the Federal Police, New South Wales police and Australian Border Force. "This has resulted in 3.6m individual hits of ice being taken off our streets," boasted NSW Justice Minister Michael Keenan. Officials said the operation began in December when Border Force examined a shipping container that had arrived from Hong Kong.

Laos to lighten up on medicinal opium?

Posted on April 5th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

South East AsiaLaos was once a major opium producer—and now production is creeping up there again after eradication efforts had dramatically slashed it. But this time around authorities may take a more tolerant and realistic approach. Voice of America reported March 27 that the Asian Development Bank and other international donors helping Laos promote alternatives to opium production are actually listening to analysts who emphasize the reasons for the bounce in production. Poppy cultivation in Laos fell from a peak of 26,800 hectares in 1998 to 1,800 hectares by 2005 under an aggressive eradication program. In 2006 the Laotian government declared the country "drug free." Now, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) finds cultivation in Laos rose to some 6,200 hectares in 2014. However, while the far greater quantities of opium grown in neighboring Burma are largely processed into heroin for export, much of that in Laos is consumed locally for traditional and medicinal use by hill tribes in country's remote north.

Hong Kong: triads crushed at last?

Posted on August 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

East AsiaAuthorities in Hong Kong are boasting that the city's long-reigning criminal gangs, the notorious Triads, are finally crushed following an operation coordinated with police forces in Macau and mainland China's Guangdong province, in which more than 14,000 were arrested and 2,500 properties raided—including discos, massage parlours and nightclubs. Police confiscated HK$39.3  million (US$5 million) worth of illicit goods, including drugs, contraband cigarettes, pornography and weapons. Leading figures in the powerful Sun Yee On and 14K triads are said to be among the detained. 

Seeing patterns, from Colombia to Cape Town

Africa and the War on DrugsFor those who have been wondering what the truth is behind the media sensationalism about global cartels establishing Africa as their new theater of operations, Africa and the War on Drugs  by Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig (Zed Books, London, 2012) clears the air in a welcome way.

The authors, a pair of British academics, portray a strategy by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hype the threat and replicate the hardline policies pursued in Latin America and elsewhere on the African continent. Drug trafficking has definitely been growing in Africa in recent years—ironically, the authors argue, as a result of "successes" in Latin America. As the old cartels and their smuggling routes were broken up, new more fragmented networks have sought new routes and markets. This conveniently coincided with South Africa's reintegration to the world economy after the end of apartheid, and more generally with Africa's globalization.

Triads in Éire?

Posted on November 28th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

IrelandThe Garda Síochána, Ireland's national police force, say they broke up a network of drug gangs that were collaborating with Hong Kong-based Triad syndicates in a series of indoor cannabis grow operations that produced much of the island's supply. The Garda National Drugs Unit raided 236 premises and arrested 54 foreigners as part of the investigation codenamed Operation Wireless. Police say 4,200 cannabis plants were seized in Dublin, Meath, Wexford and Cork. Many of those arrested were said to be affiliated with the Wo Shing Wo, one of Hong Kong's most powerful Triads, with globe-spanning operations in drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution and gambling. (Dublin Herald, Nov. 21)

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