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Trade

India's role in illicit synthetic drug trade draws closer scrutiny

Reports shed light on how cartels rely on supplies from across Asia

Plastic bags of fentanyl are displayed by U.S. Customs at Chicago's O'Hare airport in 2017.   © Reuters

ISTANBUL -- India is coming under the spotlight as a supplier of chemicals for illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine, although China is still believed to be the top source.

A number of recent official and nongovernmental reports have highlighted India's role in the global narcotics trade. "Multiton consignments of precursor materials from India have been shipped to Africa and Mexico," reads the U.S. State Department's annual report on international narcotics control strategy, released in March. "This trend is expected to continue and expand."

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