Mainland Southeast Asia is bracing for a surge of illegal methamphetamines from eastern Myanmar, as a result of pandemic-related supply gluts and a likely increase in production due to Myanmar’s growing political crisis.

According to a recently published report by Agence France-Presse, anti-narcotics authorities in neighboring Thailand have seized more than 80 million methamphetamine pills, or yaba, in the past six months, a record haul that they blame partly on a supply glut caused by COVID-19.

Despite tanking economies across the region, the pandemic year of 2020 was good for Myanmar’s drug-trafficking syndicates, which have long thrived in the contested upland zones of eastern Myanmar. Last year, the United Nations Office on Drugs on Crime (UNODC) reported that the price of methamphetamines in East and Southeast Asia had dropped to its lowest level in 10 years, as the market became overwhelmed with supply.