On 26 June, Asia Financial said that the UN Office on Drugs & Crime had reported that about 240 casinos have been built in 120 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the Mekong subregion and some of these enclaves have become hubs of serious criminal activity. It is said that gangs running the SEZ were involved in trafficking large quantities of illicit drugs, laundering billions through unregulated casinos, while running online gambling for people in neighbouring countries via easy-to-access fintech apps and call centres involved in crypto scams, often undertaken by people lured into these areas and held against their will, an UN official said.
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