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US Report: Burma's Opium Poppy Cultivation Down, Production of Synthetic Drugs Sharply Up


The U.S. State Department says that although Burma continues to cut opium poppy cultivation, the production and trafficking of synthetic drugs has significantly increased in 2006.

In its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report on global drug trends and money laundering Thursday, the State Department said Burma remains the second largest opium poppy grower in the world.

But the report says Burma's share of world opium poppy cultivation has fallen dramatically - from 63% in 1998 to 1% last year, mostly due to a sharp increase in cultivation in Afghanistan.

In the report, U.S. officials said Burma plays a leading role in the regional traffic of synthetic drugs, such as amphetamine-type stimulants.

The report said Burma was one of only two countries in the world the other being Venezuela that had "failed demonstrably" to meet international counter-narcotics obligations.

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