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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Criminal Gangs Lure Women Via Internet To Work As Drug Couriers

    NEW DELHI, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- A top global narcotics watchdog today warned that transnational criminal gangs are increasingly using social networking sites to lure women to work as drug "mules" in Asia.

    The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent quasi-judicial monitoring body, in its recent report, highlighted that more young Asian women are falling victim to these international syndicates.

    "Drug traffickers are increasingly using social networking sites to recruit Southeast Asian women to work as "mules" in countries in East and Southeast Asia, including Singapore.

    "The traffickers are believed to be targeting single women between the ages of 20 and 30 who do not have criminal records and who are unemployed or work in clerical, sales or service jobs," the INCB said in its 2009 report which was released here Wednesday.

    The reports says that the South Asian region made some progress in reducing illicit opium poppy cultivation, but suffered some setbacks recently and cultivation rose by 3.3 per cent in 2008, compared with the previous year.

    Besides, there was a significant rise in the trafficking in methamphetamine (MDMA) and the illicit production of MDMA, also nicknamed "ecstasy" pills, and smuggling of ketamine, another popular party drug, had become rampant in Asia.

    "An increase in the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in ketamine was reported in the region (East and Southeast Asia).

    "In China, 44 laboratories involved in the illicit manufacturing of ketamine were dismantled in 2007," the report adds.

    Nightclubs, discotheques, bars and music festivals are key locations where drug abuse often takes place, and these are spots were messages on misuse of drugs can be highlighted, it says.

    -- BERNAMA
    February 24, 2010 16:43 PM
    http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=477626

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