> Ground zero for Asia's booming trade in one of the world's most addictive and dangerous drugs. Factories in Southern China pumping out crystal methamphetamine, feeding an exploding demand across the Asia Pacific. The drugs are made from cheap chemicals and organized crime rings are making hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Despite a few recent megabusts like this one in Sydney. Packages filled with enough meth for more than three million hits. I'm Reuters correspondent Tara Joseph in Hong Kong. This city's become a key transit point for drugs made just over the border in mainland China. They're then sent off to Australia, New Zealand and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Hong Kong customs officials sift through millions of packages each week as a growing number of smugglers move drugs around in small bags through Express Mail to avoid detection. More than a ton of narcotics was seized here last year alone and regionally the problem's getting worse. Jeremy Douglas from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime explains why meth is particularly popular among producers.
>> The meth business is incredibly lucrative because you don't have the, it's unlike say heroin where you have all these farmers to grow the crop. What you need here is a well set up factory. You need some good chemists, and then you need someone to take your product.
You don't have to have so many people involved.>> Chinese authorities have stepped up raids on southern China villages to try and slow the rising tide of meth production. Experts say unless these factories are shut down, organized crime rings are likely to start targeting the US as their next main export market.