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ILLICIT ACTIVITY IN THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE PART 2: FACILITATORS AND IMPACT ON LOCAL POPULATIONS

Updated: Jul 31

Hayden Cribbon, Ana Rosa Del Rey Revilla, Antonia Gough, Charlotte Morton, Anonymous, PACOM Team

Katelyn Ferguson, CRIME Team

Week of Monday, April 5, 2021


Thailand’s capital Bangkok is a major hub for illicit trafficking originating from the Golden Triangle[1]


Illicit markets in the Golden Triangle represent a major problem that jeopardizes not only political-economic stability but also social and health security in the region. Its geographical location facilitates illicit trade within neighboring countries, making it easier to avoid sanctions and international control. The difficult economic situation in which Myanmar and Laos find themselves have promoted illicit trade as a way to find new work opportunities for citizens exhausted by the rough economic condition of their countries. For its part, being the most developed country in the region, Thailand has become the main logistic center of the illicit market and is the main receiver of the flows of human trafficking and other illicit commercial activities. The diffusion of cybercrime and financial crimes, notably money laundering, is another powerful facilitator of illicit activities in the region. A joint and coordinated multi-level effort by regional and international actors is recommended to tackle these criminal activities and their deleterious effects.


The Economic Impact


The economic impact of illegal markets in the Golden Triangle has been considerable. According to the Office on Drugs and Crime of the United Nations (UNODC), the economic impact of drug trafficking in East Asia and the Pacific now represents USD $31.3 billion representing the largest share of all illicit activities in the region.[2] Regarding human trafficking, the profit reaches USD $150.3 billion a year globally, with East Asia and the Pacific representing the most lucrative region with 34% average share.[3] Combining easier and cheaper access to illicit substances and commodities with the critical post-coup situation in Myanmar, there is an increased urgency for a governmental response to this problem. Another reason being criminals active in the border regions around Myanmar will exploit the chaotic situation on the ground to profit as much as they can. It is also important to note that inequality makes lower social classes more prone to using illicit substances and engaging in crime due to the lack of legitimate opportunities available for them to earn a stable living. Moreover, this leaves them vulnerable to organized criminal groups who take advantage of their desperation to offer them a "way out of their problems" and coerce them into human trafficking. Since the February 1 military coup in Myanmar, many citizens have become more vulnerable to human trafficking due to increased instability and fewer job opportunities.[4] Vulnerable groups are exposed to sexual exploitation and forced labor, notably in rural areas more affected by the lack of opportunities. The huge increase in violence since the February Myanmar coup is a real cause for concern on top of these alarming factors. Violence in times of conflict, particularly towards women and children, is especially worrying and could lead to an uptake in the trafficking of people. The fluctuating, chaotic and perilous situation facing many in Myanmar, not forgetting those who belong to oppressed ethnic groups, increases the risk of human trafficking.


The Effects of Corruption


In the Golden Triangle countries, corruption is extensive at all levels of government, police, military, and civil service. Laws aimed at curbing corruption are rarely enforced. The virtual impunity of government officials and law enforcement and the pervasive role of the state in almost every economic and social sector offers numerous opportunities for corruption that directly affect many of the criminal activities that have become prevalent in the region and the ability of various illegal markets to flourish. Despite recent efforts by the Golden Triangle nations to make progress in this area, these have proven insufficient and corruption remains widespread in Laos,[5] Myanmar,[6] and Thailand.[7] Whilst these countries have laws in place to combat corruption, these are weakly enforced overall. This is down to a lack of willpower at various levels of government, as well as the sheer penetration of corruption making the scale of rooting it out rather overwhelming. These governments are also facing a multitude of other problems, the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Myanmar being two prominent examples. Those engaging in corrupt activity know this, and this knowledge of impunity increases the lack of incentive to shun corrupt money-making activities. If the social and economic situation was brighter, and public sector jobs were better paid, it is very probable the problem would decrease.


The situation permits local and foreign organized criminal networks to operate within and between the three countries and China. For example, corruption facilitates human trafficking at almost all stages of the process, from recruitment and initial contact with the victims to enabling the movement across borders to impeding the criminal justice proceedings that might have a chance of deterring the activity or providing justice to the victims. For example, a Thai massage parlor was raided and 100 trafficked individuals from Myanmar, Laos, and China were found, along with documentation that revealed more than 20 public officials had received services from the parlor in return for turning a blind eye to the trafficking of these women and children for sexual exploitation.[8] Despite the prevalence of human trafficking, the issue remains misunderstood by many, and under-researched both in the global and regional context.[9] Corruption is directly linked to the lack of resources allocated to combating illicit trade within the Golden Triangle, such as cross-border trafficking of human beings[10] and wildlife.[11] As long as those in the position to tackle trade in illicit goods are also those who directly benefit from it financially, politically, and personally, the necessary progress on reducing these illegal practices will not take place.


Rough terrain in the Golden Triangle inhibits law enforcement efforts to curb illicit activity[12]


The Security Threat Posed By Illicit Activity


While violence is not a new aspect present in the Golden Triangle, there has been an increase in murders in the region as a result of organized criminal activity approximately equal to those arising from armed conflicts.[13] The threat to national security that organized criminal activity poses is also directly related to the terrorist financing operations in the Golden Triangle and the wider Southeast Asia region. Terrorist financing operations and organized criminal activity rely heavily on the large sums of money raised as a result of illicit trafficking and money laundering. The devastating impact organized crime groups can have on human, economic and national security in the region is compounded by the weak rule of law and the resulting corrupting state forces existing in Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.


In addition to organized criminal activity, there have also been ties to terrorism and insurgency groups within the Golden Triangle region since at least the 1980s. Much of this is viewed as narcoterrorism, and terrorists from the Golden Crescent (an opium-producing area in Southwestern Asia including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Baluchistan) have also been found engaging in illegal activity within the Golden Triangle.[14] One of the terrorist groups that have been found to have ties to the Golden Triangle in the past is Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The group recognized that the Golden Triangle played a large role in the sale of illicit drugs and the materials to create them, and as a result, it began providing security services/protection for drug traffickers from the Golden Triangle towards Europe.[15] Similar to other terrorist organizations that are notorious for engaging in the illegal drug trade, members of the PKK realized high profits as a result of drug trafficking between the Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle and began producing and trafficking illicit drugs. The PKK is an example of a terrorist organization that saw the opportunities to engage in a low-risk and high-profit illegal market in order to increase its funding. This connection between the PKK and the illegal drug trade demonstrates the existence of the crime-terror nexus in the past, and thus the potential for collaboration between terrorist organizations and drug traffickers as part of a transnational network. However, credible research and Information from recent years in regards to terrorism and insurgency in the Golden Triangle region is limited. This could be due to the fact that law enforcement, governments, and organizations are focusing on the various criminal markets which appear to be more prevalent in the region and transnational in nature.


Money Laundering


Golden Triangle national efforts to combat money laundering have been lacking, the situation being the worst in Myanmar, which has remained on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) money laundering watchlist since February 2020 as a result of insufficient actions to implement anti-money laundering legislation and procedures.[16] Myanmar must also do better at seizing the profits of organized crime before they can be laundered. Laos fairs little better, one of the region’s most notorious casinos and its co-owner having been sanctioned by the US government in 2018 for being “a Transnational Criminal Organisation involved in money laundering and illicit drug trafficking.”[17] This casino is demonstrative of the interconnectedness between illicit industries and money laundering. Women are trafficked to Laos from within the region to work in prostitution, illegal wildlife is sold and drug trafficking is facilitated. The fact that the casino’s co-owner (Zhao Wei) is also the chairman of Laos’ Golden Triangle special economic zone demonstrates the challenges in tackling illicit activity.[18] In excess of 200 casinos are believed to be operational in the Golden Triangle, and they represent a type of business providing services that are vulnerable to criminal exploitation. Money laundering is hugely damaging to the societies living in the Golden Triangle as it undermines legitimate business, increases corruption, deteriorates law and order in politically unstable countries, and destabilizes already weak border security by providing the funds used to pay off border enforcement. It is imperative that Golden Triangle governments collaborate to share data and intelligence to detect and prevent this destabilizing practice. In recent years, money launderers have vastly evolved their methods, also thanks to advances in Artificial Intelligence and other developments. Golden Triangle law enforcement authorities must be given support to improve their technical expertise in these fast-changing areas in order to be up to the challenge. Once corruption has been effectively tackled in the region, greater cooperation between the public and private sectors should form another key element of the region’s improved strategy to combat financial crimes that facilitate the illicit markets in the region. At present, such collaboration is not possible, as all three countries suffer varying degrees of state capture, with private interests systematically influencing government decisions to their own advantage.


The Significance of Socio-Economic Dynamics in the Region


If further steps are not taken to prevent and stop the rise of illicit markets, economic and social consequences will continue to deteriorate. This situation will not only reduce education and professional opportunities - that are already not affordable to everyone due to poor socio-economic conditions - but will also increase inequality that impacts the citizens of the Golden Triangle area. While Thailand is an example of economic policies having transformed a low-income society into an upper-income society, the situation is different in Laos and especially in post-coup Myanmar, with declining economies, job insecurity, and also political and social issues.


The various illicit markets existing in the Golden Triangle countries are both a cause and a consequence of their socio-economic (in)stability. Drug utilization has a direct and an indirect impact on users, their communities, and the economy. First, the high-profit business of drug production and trafficking is seen as an attractive revenue opportunity by low-income individuals, notably among the youth, who have few legitimate working opportunities. This draws resources away from the legal economy and strengthens the shadow economy that props up most, if not all, of the other illicit markets that thrive in the region. Characterized by abuses and insecurity, the economic flows produced by drug trafficking have also entered the legal economy through money laundering, which allows criminal groups to penetrate different spheres of society, raising the risk of corruption and legitimate economic agents participating in and promoting underground economic activities.[19] Second, it is well-known that drug use leads to violent behavior and reduces work productivity. Consequently, individuals who struggle with substance abuse require access to medical treatment, thus raising health expenditures. Moreover, the greater and cheaper access to illicit substances opens the door to further abuses, potential addictions, and other problems. Providing adequate education and professional training is thus essential to prevent people from engaging in drug trafficking.


Finding a solution is complicated by the fact that the Golden Triangle is inextricably tied to the communities that fuel supply and demand. For many impoverished civilians, the production and distribution of illicit drugs is a source of income, and providing feasible alternatives is a crucial step towards progress. The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development found that individuals are generally not major players, but that the large scale industry of illicit drugs is organized in cartels along ethnic lines.[20] Offering a similar but legitimate source of income designed to be run by a community would be an effective strategy for assisting them in shifting away from the illicit business. Cultivating high-value crops or manufacturing legitimate medicines could be a viable alternative. Communities providing demand for the drugs suffer from widespread addiction, particularly with cheap and widely available meth and caffeine tablets. Resources will be needed to assist in recovery and to educate those at risk. Buyback programs or other such incentives to eliminate supply will need to be designed carefully to avoid exploitation of government resources; high profits of selling drugs to the government would still fuel the market. A stronger community could also help minimize the number of people trying drugs for the first time. Because of the nature of addiction-fueled demand, rehabilitation is equally necessary to detach communities from the drug trade.


Cybercrime and the Dark Web


Cybercrime and dark web activity have been on the increase worldwide in recent years and further augmented by the shifting of life online as a result of the pandemic. The situation in the Golden Triangle is no different, where many criminals with no prior cybercrime experience have been lured into the trade by its profitability and low risk of detection.[21] The dark web has facilitated illicit markets such as drugs, their chemical precursors, counterfeits and forgeries, cybercrime toolkits, and child sexual exploitation content. During the last year, products such as fraudulent COVID-19 vaccines, personal protective equipment, and even hydroxychloroquine have emerged on the dark web. Illicit drugs are by far the largest category, with approximately 95,000 drug-related items for sale in four of the largest dark web markets in 2019.[22] As with any other form of transnational crime, profit is an important motivator. Profitable items on the dark web also include identity and financial related information of both businesses and individuals. Poverty and minimal risk function as the main facilitators for many of the illicit criminal activities occurring in the region, cybercrime being no exception. Despite this, criminality relating to the dark web has not been a priority to address among Golden Triangle governments or policymakers.[23] At the moment, there is no minister or body responsible for cybercrime-related issues in Thailand, Laos, or Myanmar. This is likely due to various reasons such as a lack of expertise in the area and the high complexity of the issue. The very nature of dark web activity makes culprits difficult to locate, criminal proceedings being sought often only after a crime has occurred. The borderless nature of cyberspace is now having added to it the further destabilizing factor of an increase in organized criminal activity transitioning to the internet. Addressing this oversight is vital to help support law enforcement efforts combating cybercriminal activity.


The dark web serves a number of functions: to launch cyberattacks; to purchase illicit products; or simply to browse the internet privately, free from state surveillance or censorship, an issue that incidentally has increasingly plagued Golden Triangle countries in recent years. Precursor chemicals used in the production of synthetic drugs are frequently traded on the anonymous dark web marketplaces, so the dark web has a direct link to the facilitation of the ever-growing drug trade currently crippling the Golden Triangle region. For years organized criminals have been able to seek out the necessary chemicals in secrecy. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend, particularly as a result of the increased time spent online and the closure of borders. Countering cybercrime enabled by the darknet must become a policy and legislative priority for governments in the Golden Triangle, which at the same time should ensure that human rights and legitimate privacy rights are safeguarded. States must devote efforts to formulating specific dark web and cybercrime policies. The creation of a ministerial or governmental post dealing with this issue, as well as a corresponding division of law enforcement, is recommended. Dark web criminal activity is the only illegal market upon which physical borders have no impact. The negative effects of online criminal activity can have a global ripple effect, which highlights the urgent need for a dynamic and international response. Given the nature of cybercrime and the dark web, a regional strategy to counter these activities should be established. If this does not happen, the perpetual cycle of a lack of data on the issue leading to victims of cybercrime being unable to seek legal support will continue.


Regional Collaboration


In response to the rampant problems of crime in the region, the South East Asia Justice Network (SEAJust) was created in March 2021.[24] This body brings together prosecutors, national police, and other law enforcement authorities from the three Golden Triangle countries, as well as other governments in the region. The goal is to increase judicial response, break down language and legal barriers, and make way for a more efficient legal process, as poor conviction rates are one of the key motivators that allow the crimes to continue flourishing. All of these crimes are transnational and require a collaborative regional response. This network has great potential to achieve some successful results, given the wide range of collaborative frameworks already existing within the region on other issues and the great need for such cooperation. However, SEAJust hopes to tackle some of the most severe issues the region currently faces. Poor practices at the national level currently affecting Golden Triangle countries means that they are likely to be heavily reliant on other countries in the network having a strong set of policies or legislative frameworks on which they can draw inspiration. Membership of this network is likely to be a considerable learning process for the Golden Triangle countries.


Border management has been emphasized since the emergence of the COVID-19 emergency; using technology such as x-rays and hand-held devices to scan goods being transported. Despite these efforts, criminal groups have simply shifted their routes to circumvent the provinces with better security, at minimal cost to the drug-producing organizations. Methamphetamine prices continue to drop and purity continues to increase. This is evidence that manufacturing capabilities are improving, driven by increasing demand. The current countermeasures are simply not enough.[25] Online ordering from a tech-savvy generation is difficult to suppress, as it is difficult to locate and remove illegal listings at the rates that they are being posted. It is vital to educate and inform communities and especially young people about these dangers. A recommendation to consider is implementing a temporary buyback program for unused drugs could assist in bringing down the amount of dangerous substances in circulation. Programs to create entry-level jobs can help young adults earn a legitimate income. Materials used to create the drugs can also be taxed or otherwise regulated to limit production


The Role of ASEAN


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes the Golden Triangle countries and is the intergovernmental organization responsible for helping to combat crime in the region.[26] The Golden Triangle has arguably become the most notorious area in Asia for organized local and transnational crime. A key reason for the region’s extensive crime is the unique political, social, historical, geographical, and economic complexities that make law enforcement efforts in the region considerably difficult to successfully implement. This may also be due to the asymmetries in drug law enforcement that exists in the region as a result of the different financial capabilities of ASEAN countries in countering the drug trade, or the different strategies that have been implemented thus hindering the ability for a cohesive regional policy. Due to ASEAN’s policy of ‘non-interference’ in members' sovereignty and self-determination, ASEAN has relied on attempting to foster better transnational cooperation between Golden Triangle nations to counter crime in the region.[27] ASEAN has faced substantial criticism for this indirect approach and its lack of tangible progress in countering crimes such as piracy, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. One reason for this may be that ASEAN does not perceive the issue to be of immediate concern compared to other problems present in the region.


ASEAN’s ten member states include Thailand, Myanmar and Laos[28]


However, the variety of unique and demanding regional challenges that ASEAN must account for should not be discounted when evaluating the organization's progress. The populations within the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas suffer from some of the worst rates of poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition in the world. Therefore, ASEAN has prioritized efforts to stimulate economic development and trade in Southeast Asia in an attempt to promote prosperity and productivity in local communities. ASEAN’s initiatives to facilitate free movement of goods with surrounding mega-economies such as China and India have resulted in massive upgrades to transportation infrastructure which, by default, has also expanded the opportunity for transnational criminals to traverse borders quickly and with greater ease. While there can be a correlation between decreasing illicit activity by improving economic conditions, the prioritization of industrial development combined with its mantra of ‘non-interference’ has limited ASEAN’s options and effectiveness in mitigating criminal activity in the Golden Triangle.


Nevertheless, ASEAN has made some progress in assisting law enforcement operations in the Golden Triangle. Since ASEAN’s first concord in 1976, the organization has called for the intensification of cooperation among member countries and relevant international bodies to prevent and eradicate transnational crime. This has actualized in numerous conferences aimed at bringing Golden Triangle stakeholders together to forge mutually beneficial partnerships that address regional responses such as extradition, the establishment of regional bodies, information sharing, consolidation of resources, and redefining past agreements.[29] These meetings also often end in worthy but unrealistic aspirations such as a 2010 ministerial meeting that concluded with a mission to make the region drug-free by 2015. These ‘goals’ only serve as symbolic statements to appease pressure from outside influences and frustrate advocate groups who understand that the complexities and scope of the region’s problems can only be addressed with long-term strategies. These frustrations relate to another common criticism of ASEAN, which revolves around the focus on reactive measures of prosecution over proactive policies of prevention.

However, to the organization’s credit, in 2012 it launched ASEAN’s Plan of Action on Drug Abuse Control which aims to promote preventative drug education, treatment, rehabilitation, social integration, law enforcement, and research.[30] This holistic response program focuses on both the role of law enforcement in punishing individuals involved in the drug trade and the grass-roots approach of reducing the local drug demand. The program has had mixed results but has been held up by advocates and experts as a substantial step in the right direction to begin sustainably addressing the region’s drug problem. But despite the encouraging signs shown by the program, ASEAN needs to resist being complacent with its members’ punitive approach for not only drug crimes but other prolific crimes in the region, if the sources of the problems facing the Golden Triangle are going to be appropriately addressed.


Assistance from non-ASEAN Partners


Further Integrating ASEAN+3 members (China, Japan, and South Korea) and specifically gaining cooperation from China provides another key opportunity for improved regional response in preventing transnational crime. The absence of China as an ASEAN member state poses difficulties in mitigating transnational crime due to its significant role in the distribution of drugs and illicit goods sourced from the Golden Triangle. The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative has provided infrastructural development that has aided crime syndicates to traffic illicit materials across southeast Asia and the rest of the world.[31] ASEAN would be advised to discuss with the Chinese Government about measures to minimize the efficiency of these crime trafficking routes (such as stricter border security and increased security personnel) because it is in both China and broader South East Asia’s interests to reduce criminal activity in the region.


Other international actors are trying to respond to and prevent drug operations in the Golden Triangle. The Australian Government is a key state actor in the regional response to the Golden Triangle drug traffic, notably via the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) joint operational arrangements in Southeast Asia.[32] The Australian Government aims to reduce drug traffic across the Australian border, thus making a regional response part of its national interests. Japan is also involved in responding to drug trafficking through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Official Development Assistance (ODA), investments in the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), and training offered to Southeast Asian law enforcement officials involved in anti-narcotics operations.[33] The significance of this is that Japan encompasses the East Asian drug trade, and the state’s recognition of grass-roots solutions to drug dependencies is aiding the regional effort to reduce drug trafficking. The United States has provided financial and educational aid, as well as law enforcement assistance to the countries in the Golden Triangle.[34] Cooperation from the US as a powerful actor substantiates the counter drug traffic operations in the Golden Triangle. The European Union has supported the UNODC by assisting farmers to shift from opium to alternative crops and by funding Southeast Asian law enforcement agencies for combating transnational crime.[35] Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have provided specific law enforcement assistance to Cambodia.[36] Support from the EU and its member states helps combat the drug trade at a local level while maintaining economic growth in Southeast Asia. Such actors likely chose this method of cooperation in order to maintain good relations with the state and civilians, which supports their own national interests.


Conclusion


The criminals affiliated with the Golden Triangle are actively evading detection and prosecution as they are constantly evolving their methods. The Counterterrorism Group’s (CTG) PACOM team recommends that concrete efforts should be made to improve the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable communities to prevent them from engaging in illicit activities. Some of the mechanisms by which CTG suggests this be done is by educating local communities about the negative effects of the various illegal markets. For narcotics and counterfeit markets, educating individuals about the implications and potential dangers of these illicit goods is essential. In terms of illegal drugs, possible solutions also include introducing a temporary buyback program for unused narcotics and taxing/regulating the materials used to create the drugs. The PACOM team will continue to monitor the activity in the Golden Triangle and will update our recommendations and findings if additional developments are made. Please contact us for further assistance.

__________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Bangkok at night 01 (MK)” by Mathias Krumbholz, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

[2] Drug trafficking trends & border management in South-East Asia: “Responding to an evolving context of regional integration", UNODC, November 2014, https://www.unodc.org/documents/ungass2016/CND_Preparations/Brown_bag_lunch/Asia/2014.11.19_CND_preparation_for_UNGASS_2016_final.pdf

[3] A Hidden Scourge, IMF, September 2018, https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2018/09/human-trafficking-in-southeast-asia-caballero.htm

[4] Chaos in Myanmar poses threat of meth trafficking surge for Thailand, Frontier Myanmar, March 2021, https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/chaos-in-myanmar-poses-threat-of-meth-trafficking-surge-for-thailand/

[5] Laos, Freedom House 2020, https://freedomhouse.org/country/laos/freedom-world/2020

[6] Myanmar, Freedom House, 2020, https://freedomhouse.org/country/myanmar/freedom-world/2021

[7] Thailand, Freedom House, 2020, https://freedomhouse.org/country/thailand/freedom-world/2021

[8] Bangkok brothel raid sparks bribery, trafficking probe, Agence France Presse, January 2018, https://www.france24.com/en/20180115-bangkok-brothel-raid-sparks-bribery-trafficking-probe

[9] Corruption as a Facilitator of Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons in the Bali Process Region with a focus on Southeast Asia, UNODC and Regional Support Office (RSO) of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, March 2021, https://www.unodc.org/documents/southeastasiaandpacific//Publications/2021/Corruption_of_SoM_and_TiP_with_focus_on_Southeast_Asia_Mar2021.pdf

[10] Corruption as a Facilitator of Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons in the Bali Process Region with a focus on Southeast Asia, UNODC and Regional Support Office (RSO) of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, March 2021, https://www.unodc.org/documents/southeastasiaandpacific//Publications/2021/Corruption_of_SoM_and_TiP_with_focus_on_Southeast_Asia_Mar2021.pdf

[11] Wildlife and Forest Crime, UNODC Southeast Asia and Pacific, 2021, https://www.unodc.org/southeastasiaandpacific/en/what-we-do/toc/wildlife-forest-crime.html

[12] Hills in northern Thailand by Ernie & Katy Newton Lawley from Bowie, MD, USA, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

[13] UNODC Strategy 2021-2026, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Southeast Asia and Pacific, UNODC, n.d., https://www.unodc.org/documents/Advocacy-Section/UNODC-Strategy-WEB.pdf

[14] Narco-Terrorism: The Merger of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, U.S. Department of State Office of Justice Programs, August 2004, https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/narco-terrorism-merger-war-drugs-and-war-terror

[15] DRUG SMUGGLING AS MAIN SOURCE OF PKK TERRORISM, International Strategic Research Organization, October 2008, https://www.academia.edu/24064594/Drug_Smuggling_As_Main_Source_of_PKK_Terrorism_Security_and_Terrorism

[16]Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring - February 2021, Financial Action Task Force, February 2021, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/countries/a-c/barbados/documents/increased-monitoring-february-2021.html

[17] Drug routes out of Golden Triangle; AFP helps tell story, Australian Federal Police, March 2020, https://www.afp.gov.au/node/4151

[18] U.S. slaps sanctions on Laos Golden Triangle 'casino' in bid to break up narco-empire, Reuters, January 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-laos-sanction-idUSKBN1FK1P1

[19] Ibid.

[20] Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, n.d., https://www.unodc.org/pdf/technical_series_1998-01-01_1.pdf

[21] UNODC report: darknet cybercrime is on the rise in Southeast Asia, UNODC, February 2021, https://www.unodc.org/southeastasiaandpacific/en/2021/02/darknet-cybercrime-southeast-asia/story.html

[22] UNODC report: darknet cybercrime is on the rise in Southeast Asia, UNODC, February 2021, https://www.unodc.org/southeastasiaandpacific/en/2021/02/darknet-cybercrime-southeast-asia/story.html

[23] Darknet Cybercrime Threats to Southeast Asia 2020, UNODC, February 2021, https://www.unodc.org/documents/southeastasiaandpacific//Publications/2021/Darknet_Cybercrime_Threats_to_Southeast_Asia_report.pdf

[24] New crime-fighting network to help ASEAN tackle cross-border cases, Nikkel, March 2021, https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/New-crime-fighting-network-to-help-ASEAN-tackle-cross-border-cases

[25] COVID-19 No Match for Southeast Asia's Booming Drug Trade, Voice of America, August 2020, www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/covid-19-no-match-southeast-asias-booming-drug-trade

[26] Fighting drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle: a UN Resident Coordinator blog, UN News, September 2020, https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1071192

[27] The ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) Bangkok, ASEAN, August 1967, https://asean.org/the-asean-declaration-bangkok-declaration-bangkok-8-august-1967/

[28] ASEAN-PT by Hailton Monteiro do Amaral Filho, licensed under Public Domain

[29]ASEAN PLAN OF ACTION IN COMBATING TRANSNATIONAL CRIME (2016-2015), ASEAN, September 2017, https://asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/ASEAN-Plan-of-Action-in-Combating-TC_Adopted-by-11th-AMMTC-on-20Sept17.pdf

[30] Plan of Action on Drug Abuse Control, ASEAN, March 2012, https://asean.org/?static_post=plan-of-action-on-drug-abuse-control

[31] Commentary: Southeast Asia is now dominant in the illegal drugs trade, Channel News Asia, July 2020, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/southeast-asia--drugs-golden-triangle-smuggling-myanmar-thailand-12934640

[32] Drug routes out of Golden Triangle; AFP helps tell story, AFP, March 2020, https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/platypus/drug-routes-out-golden-triangle-afp-helps-tell-story

[33] (8) Drugs, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006, https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/white/2006/ODA2006/html/honpen/hp202020308.htm

[34] Regional Report on South Asia, Council of the European Union, November 2018, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-13784-2018-INIT/en/pdf

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.




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