Why Drug Cartels Are Expanding to Asia

By Carolina Sampó, Valeska Troncoso

As cocaine flows to remoter markets, transnational illicit traffic poses a global risk.

For a rising number of Latin American drug cartels, being global is nowadays a “do-or-die” proposition. Hemmed in by the oversaturation of the U.S. market and the increasing preference of U.S. consumers for synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, these organizations have eagerly expanded their cocaine smuggling to Europe in recent years. Now, they are looking for new markets, and Asia is the name of the game.After a remarkable increase in drug production over the last decade to a record level of almost 2,000 tons of pure cocaine per year, drug lords are betting on China, India and South...

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