North Korea could turn to dealing deadly CRYSTAL METH to fund its weapons programmes

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
By Paul Martin

NORTH Korea could become the world’s biggest crystal meth dealer if the rogue state’s army of highly trained hackers turn their talents to peddling the deadly drug on the dark web, a money laundering expert has warned.

By HARVEY GAVIN
Express.co.uk
Wed, Jan 17, 2018

Kim Jong-un’s regime may seek to copy the Taliban in Afghanistan by selling illegal drugs to the West to fund his cash-strapped government and avoid international sanctions, Loretta Napoleoni said.

The economist, who is also a specialist on terrorism financing, warned North Korea could easily become the world’s largest producer of highly addictive methamphetamine – commonly known as crystal meth.

The powerful stimulant is a Class A drug in the UK and long-term use can leave addicts suffering from a raft of serious mental health problems ranging from paranoia and delusions to severe psychosis.

And by selling the deadly drug through the dark web, which allows buyers to remain anonymous and buy illicit substances through eBay-style marketplaces, Pyongyang could earn millions to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Writing in her new book, ‘North Korea, the Country We Love to Hate’, Ms Napoleoni said: “If in 2018 the economic sanctions begin to bite… the best services that North Korean hackers could perform for their country is to offer access to the dark net to conduct illegal activities.

“Trade in crystal meth or methamphetamine, for example, is worth several billion dollars.

“It is easy to produce and at the moment the biggest producer is situated in Myanmar, but a state actor like North Korea could easily rival such output.”

Kim’s regime is resorting to increasingly creative and desperate measures to avoid a growing list of crippling sanctions aimed at isolating the rogue state and strangling the funds it needs to develop its arsenal of nuclear weapons.

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