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Asia Minute: China: Growing Source for Crystal Methamphetamine in Asia Pacific

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Authorities in the Philippines have seized a stunning amount of methamphetamine headed into the country from China. Police say there was more than half a ton of the drug, smuggled into warehouses in metropolitan Manila—making it the latest multi-million dollar methamphetamine bust in Asia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


Federal officials in the Philippines say they have seized more than 1,300 pounds of crystal methamphetamine coming from China—with a street value of more than $120 million.

Authorities say the drugs were found in cylindrical roller printers that had been cleared by Philippine customs.

Police say the bust was made possible by information coming from the Chinese government. Reuters quotes a spokesman for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as saying “it’s safe to say that the majority of the meth we have comes from China.”

China is a growing source for crystal methamphetamine that surfaces elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, but Chinese authorities have also been increasing their cooperation with regional governments when it comes to drug seizures.

Earlier this month, customs officials in Indonesia found nearly 200 pounds of crystal meth smuggled in car bumpers from China. The Jakarta Post says they were tipped off by Chinese customs officials.

Last month, authorities in Australia seized nearly a ton of crystal meth coming into Melbourne—smuggled into hollowed out floorboards coming from China.

Australian authorities say those drugs had a street value of nearly $700 million—the largest seizure ever in Australia.

And the bust was made possible by coordination with the Chinese government.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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