Thursday, April 30, 2020

Wuhan was a fentanyl capital, then coronavirus hit

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat  TY Gus  LAT

Street fentanyl in counterfeit  prescription Oxy tabs

MEXICO CITY —  For drug traffickers interested in getting in on the fentanyl business, all roads once led to Wuhan.
The sprawling industrial city built along the Yangtze River in east-central China is known for its production of chemicals, including the ingredients needed to cook fentanyl and other powerful synthetic opioids.

Vendors there shipped huge quantities around the world. The biggest customers were Mexican drug cartels, which have embraced fentanyl in recent years because it is cheaper and easier to produce than heroin.

But the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan late last year before spreading across the planet has disrupted the fentanyl supply chain, causing a ripple effect that has cut into the profits of Mexican traffickers and driven up street drug prices across the United States.

Few industries — illicit or not — have been unscathed by the pandemic that has upended the global economy and killed more than 190,000 people worldwide.

The narcotics trade, which relies on the constant movement of goods and people, has been stymied by lockdowns, travel bans and other efforts to contain the virus, according to government officials, academic researchers and drug traffickers.


Wuhan world capital of fentanyl production


Mexican production of fentanyl and methamphetamine appears especially hard hit.
Both drugs are made with precursor chemicals that are typically sent on planes or cargo ships from China, where despite U.S. pressure to ban them, they continue to be sold legally.

That supply chain was shut down in January when authorities in Wuhan enacted a lockdown that forced residents to stay inside for more than two months.

In February, after a major manufacturer of the chemicals closed, vendors began posting apologies on the online sites where chemicals are typically sold, said Louise Shelley, a professor at George Mason University who tracks global fentanyl production.

“They were saying: ‘We’re not producing or selling or shipping,’” she said.

Logan Pauley, a researcher at C4ADS, a Washington-based think tank focused on transnational security, also noticed a decrease in advertisements for fentanyl precursors. He said vendors switched to selling other products, including face masks and anti-malarial drugs that some doctors and politicians initially hoped would help treat the coronavirus.

The drop in exports has left some Mexican drug producers with less access to needed chemicals.

Simultaneously, cartels have encountered another colossal challenge: new restrictions on entry to the United States — the world’s biggest market for illegal drugs.

Normally, more than a million people cross the U.S.-Mexico border legally each day. But that number has fallen significantly since March, when President Trump closed the border to all nonessential traffic, reducing opportunities for cartels to smuggle drugs north.

Some cartels are hurting financially, said Falko Ernst, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. He said he has interviewed gang members who complain that cartel bosses have not paid their salaries.

“They’re being told that business is bad, that finances aren’t flowing smoothly,” he said.

Other factors are also hurting organized crime. Experts say quarantines have slowed the movement of cocaine from South America to Mexico and harmed legal industries, such as the avocado trade, from which cartels extort money. Meanwhile, the downturn of global oil prices has been a blow to gangs that resell stolen gasoline.

That loss of income could be exacerbating violence in Mexico, which saw 2,585 homicides in March, more than in any month in nearly two years.

In the United States, reduced drug production and less trafficking across the border appear to have resulted in rising retail prices.

Kameron Korte, a spokeswoman for the San Diego field division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, said fentanyl pills in her region now sell for $7 each, up from $5 a few months ago.

The average cost of methamphetamine has risen from $1,000 per pound to $1,400 per pound, she said.

Similar price hikes have been seen in other parts of the country.

Despite that, drug treatment experts say they are seeing a surge in drug use.
Jeffrey Holland, who runs a nonprofit rehabilitation facility in Albuquerque, said anxiety about the pandemic and the economic recession is a potent trigger. It doesn’t help that Narcotics Anonymous meetings and other recovery programs have been moved online, he said.

“This is cultural trauma on a global scale,” he said. “And when people have more anxiety, they turn to alcohol and drugs.”
The country’s opioid crisis began more than a decade ago with prescription painkillers and heroin, but in recent years it has been dominated by fentanyl.

In 2018, more than 31,000 people in the United States died after taking fentanyl or one of its close chemical relatives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No other drug in modern history has killed more people in a year.

Holland said he’s seen no sign of a slowdown in New Mexico during the pandemic.

“Drug dealers are still driving around, and they’re still selling from their houses,” he said.

Jaime López-Aranda, a Mexican security analyst, said that drug traffickers are accustomed to disruptions in the supply chain and that they would bounce back from the pandemic the same way they rebound from cartel infighting or law enforcement crackdowns.

“It’s part of the business cycle,” he said. “This has never been a stable market. The rule is strife and conflict.”
In Mexico, there has been some evidence that cartels have been trying to adapt.

Miguel Angel Vega, a journalist and expert on the Sinaloa cartel, said multiple drug producers have told him of efforts — so far unsuccessful — to manufacture the precursor drugs needed to make fentanyl and methamphetamine in Mexico.

Wuhan ended its 76-day lockdown on April 8, and many of the city’s 11 million residents have returned to work. According to Shelley, some online websites have already resumed selling fentanyl ingredients.

Ben Westhoff, who traveled to Wuhan in 2018 while researching the opioid trade for his book “Fentanyl, Inc.,” said it’s likely that Mexican cartels are already designing more resilient supply chains.

The only reason they relied on Chinese manufacturers for precursor chemicals in the past was because it was easy, he said.

“The reason they buy these ingredients from China is the reason everybody buys things from China: because it’s cheap.”

51 comments:

  1. Those Chinese are too smart, they are in all kinds of business.. DEA can't even DREAM of catching a main Chinese CAPO.. They ship PILLS, FENTANYL, and the main ingredient that makes crystal meth... BUT let's focus on mexican CARTELS...
    WHAT A GENIUS IDEA 💡 (Sarcasm)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s because the U.S fears China lmao. Did you not see the whole nba thing????

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    2. The Chinese are too smart my azz, they experiment eating all types of animals, even ones that are forbidden, which most likely caused the CV outbreak.

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    3. 9:04 the US is not affraid of anyone...
      peepol who owe money to the chinese are affraid their loans are due, they can't just go and declare bankruptcy, the chinese are going to get paid, much of the money owed them belongs to the US offshorers who still own the industries they stole and offshored, they ain't forgiving no loans to the US.

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  2. Chivis, those pills in the pic are made to look like roxy 30s not fentanyl...they have fentanyl in them because they are counterfeit.

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    1. Thank you! I changed the caption. I wasn't sure, I thought they may be percoce.... what do I know...

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    2. They're not Roxi's either. Those are counterfeit OxyCodone M 30's. Roxi's are different. These lil blue monsters sell for $35-$40 a pill up here in the PNW. Huge profit margin. An old.friend used to sell about 100-150 a day. He was making $10 profit per pill. These pills are the devil. It's considered less of a taboo to be hooked on these. I believe there to be more addicted to the fake pills than heroin or needle dope. There's gonna be allot of people detoxing at home, if the supply falls off much more. It's super hard to get the legit oxys, so there's gonna be a bunch of ODs too, when the supply gets back up.

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    3. Fen-fen started selling on the US as a weight loss remedy that would cause no addiction whatsoever...by the way, cocaine dealers were also claiming it was not addicting, like heroin, asked to be teusted, plis, plis, plis.

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    4. They are fentanyl pressed roxys. I bought them once. They are super dangerous. I couldnt even take a whole one and i had a habit at the time. They might be oxycodone but on the street those called roxys.

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    5. There is like 4 or 5 different manufacturers for roxys. And idk where you from but by me theyre 10-30 bucks a pill. They stopped making the m block ones because of the counterfiting. They make those m ones, a 213 or 215 i forget and the k9s i might of left one out.

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    6. 8:48 oxycodone 30s are called roxys on the street...lol

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  3. Fent capital, bio weapon capital-the list goes on and on.

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    1. Also capital of Bat Soup...come and get it....anyone hungry?

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  4. Yeah, China is in control. They knew the chemicals were shipping and they sent enough to kill everyone the planet. They've done 0 to stop it. What do you think their strategy is?

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    1. Sap the competitor's drive by stringing them out on cheap synthetic opiates, so they can be the world plug for everything since everyone else is too high to make anything.

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    2. There’s also the interesting irony of China persecuting the Opium Wars 2.0 on the same societies that imported tons of opium into China in the 1800s in order to destabilize the Chinese social and governmental orders for their own economic gains. Whether they are consciously trying to reenact that playbook with the blessing of the Communist Party or just doing what works because it’s an obvious way to make money and gain power is above my pay grade.

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    3. Opium Wars 2.0?

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    4. 6:29 the Opium Wars were US and England for opium vs China against drugs.
      The britih won with the arguments of better weapons and bigger ships, expropriated Hong Kong until recently when internet made it easier to keep banking from the UK amd liberated it back into communism to China.
      UK and the US have always been on top of the world's drug trafficking.

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    5. @6:29 Good comment.

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  5. American Intel. was investigating if the Corona virus was man made in Wuhun China lab....as of today they supposedly said it was not. How is it possible, when China don't want no one being nosey.

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    1. Just trust the official government statement... theyre 100% honest and transparent, and definitely not trying to hide anything from the general public :/

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    2. Wrong they are saying it was made in a lab

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    3. you are wrong they have not said or determined that. What is suspected is it was transferred, from horseshoe bat studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to a human and perhaps that person took it outside the lab. or a similar scenario. while it is possible this was intentionally done, it is highly doubtful. But there is no conclusive determination as of yet.

      I was reading various virology reports going back to early december and the outbreak had already begun in wuhan.

      but the world was not advised.

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  6. I could have sworn Shanghai was the place most chemicals came from. That bust that was enough to kill 14 million came from Shanghai. Plenty of vendors there as well as other research chemicals. Just Google Shanghai fentanyl and you'll see.

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    1. it is probably the busiest shipping port of illicit drugs including fent. Shanghai is the busiest port in the world and is unmanned

      drugs go thru Qingdao, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Guangdong ports

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    2. Well, to be honest I was involved in the RC business a few years ago so I do have some first hand knowledge. We even went out there. Not to fond of it and I absolutely regret doing it.

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    3. our home in china is in one of those ports.

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    4. I know you have a place in China, I'm not saying this to be argumentative, RCs are "research chemicals" so when I say first hand dealing is we were actually in the business of buying these chemicals and we saw may labs and had our choice of them. Our products where not just getting shipped out of Shanghai.

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    5. The ports are like Colombia, just staging areas.
      Production is always elsewhere.

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    6. Funny how most drugs come from China but DEA focuses on 🇲🇽 😆 what a joke
      Then again.. There's no way those agents would last in China
      I also doubt Chinese would allow them to be there
      DOESN'T the U.S owe the chinese like 3 TRILLION dollars?..
      Makes your mind wonder, China is a superpower that not even the U.S can penetrate..
      They are a nation that can't be bullied like the americas.. Chinese are too smart

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    7. But remember china is still considered a "developing" nation. such as joke. They rake in benefits for being labeled as such.

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    8. 9:53 the US owes the chinese about 35 trillion dollars and the amount grows every second, these days it doesn't matter, raiding the US treasury is job #1 specially now that the trip is almost over and there is no oversight or inspector generals that can be trusted by the american public

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  7. Also the 25 tons busted at Lázaro Cárdenas last year came from Shanghai.

    The fentanyl business is just like the spice business a few years ago but deadlier. They ban it and the chemist tweak it and find a very similar analog or more potent one.

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  8. This has been discussed on a certain popular “conspiracy” forum. GLP.... but hey, no time for that we have a “pandemic” to worry about. Y los muertos Apa? Dontan?

    - El Big Punch de la bachilleres

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  9. Fentanyl is death. Cannabis rules, unless you have LSD.

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  10. Dont belive the Big Cartels dont have money in many accounts to pay their low level gangs
    They just dont want to pay
    these Guys have millions No shortage of money
    its always the lower little guys to go with out

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  11. Those are morphine 30mg counterfeit not Oxys..

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    1. come on willis...they are oxy

      Oxycodone Hydrochloride
      Pill with imprint 30 M is Blue, Round and is identified as Oxycodone Hydrochloride 30 mg. It is supplied by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

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    2. You tell em Chivis. Roxi's are much bigger on the east coast, so I think those folks call them all Roxi's. But Def those are Oxy 30's

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    3. 8:52 You dont know what your talking about. Oxycontin aka oxys cant be snorted they are big pills with a green or orange coating and white on inside. Roxys are little blue or pink or green pills the 30mgs are blue like in the pic. I guess you can call the ones in the pic oxys because they are oxycodone but on the streets they are called roxy 30s.

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    4. Roxi is an ir (instant release) form of oxy the big green ones with OP stamped on them are time released oxy the roxi are popular because they are water soluble and can be crushed and snorted the Op extended release gel up when snorted and have to be (altered) to be water soluble both are oxy just different delivery system that's why roxis only come in low mg 30 is biggest ir you can get the er op's go up to 80 mg pills

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  12. All the media talkimg heads are wondering why China stopped all flights fro0m Wuhan to other China cities but not to cities ouytside China. Now we know. Thew market for drugs was outside China.

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  13. Chinese communist government is the worst human lids on earth, scum of them all. Chinese government who sells the chemicals that produce meth. They send them all over the world like Mexico, philippine and USA.

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    1. No, Mexicans/Hispanics are the worth human lids on earth. They take advantage of the United States and steal from Americans. May they be exterminated by COVID-19. Hell, Mexicans are the virus.

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    2. Who are you calling "worth human lids?"

      If you are going to be a low life RACIST, go back to school, and learn to express yourself.

      Dumb ass, beyond Willis

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    3. 11:43 lol since when does US accept chemicals for illegal drugs? That's why we have customs to stop that, wake up.

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  14. Known by "blues" here in the streets of Phoenix its the new crack

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    1. 3:58 cheaper than crack,
      and you do not need to hit the pipe every 5 minutes all day long.

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  15. Their aim is to use the Mexicans to undermine their American adversaries. If it means destabilizing the Mexican people so let it be. It really is sad how people are exploited because they fail to educate themselves.

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  16. Wuhan, China the epicenter of the Corona virus, not one wants to admit it happened at a lab, in the beginning they had censored a scientist from spilling the beans, but ended up dying. They it is being blamed the the wierd animal foods they eat.

    ReplyDelete

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