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Penalties for drug-related crime in Asia

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Asia is a major source of opium and heroin for the world market, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Consequently, across Asia, most countries have adopted a severe stance against drug-related crime, and heavy penalties -- including capital punishment -- have been widely adopted.

A Chinese policeman guards an illegal trafficker at a detention cell in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China.

A Chinese policeman guards an illegal trafficker at a detention cell in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China.

Afghanistan
Offenders who possess, use, or traffic illegal drugs in Afghanistan face severe penalties and can face lengthy jail sentences and large fines.

Australia
The possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs in Australia can have severe consequences, with convicted offenders subject to long jail sentences and hefty fines.

Bangladesh
Those convicted of drug offences face mandatory prison sentences, even for small amounts of illegal drugs and can suffer the death penalty. Brunei imposes a mandatory death penalty on some drug offenses. Lesser penalties include long prison sentences and corporal punishment.

Cambodia
The punishment for offences even involving "soft drugs" are harsh and include long jail sentences.

China
China has harsh penalties for drug offences, including the death penalty.

India
Convicted offenders face severe penalties, including mandatory sentences and the death penalty, and the judicial process can be lengthy.

Indonesia
Those convicted of possessing even small amounts of recreational drugs face heavy fines and imprisonment and some offenses are punishable by the death penalty. Police target illegal drug use and possession across the country, particularly in popular areas in Bali and Jakarta.

Japan
Penalties for drug offences are severe and may include heavy fines, lengthy imprisonment and deportation. Under Japanese law you can be convicted of drug use based on positive blood or urine tests alone.

Laos
Offenders are subject to severe penalties, including the death penalty.

Malaysia
Convicted drug traffickers are subject to the mandatory death penalty. Lesser penalties for some drug offences include corporal punishment.

Myanmar
Myanmar imposes harsh penalties for drug offences, including the death penalty.

North Korea
Penalties are severe and parole is rarely given in drug-related cases. Traffickers may be imprisoned indefinitely.

Pakistan
Penalties include the death penalty. Even those convicted of possessing small amounts of "soft drugs" for recreational use can suffer long jail sentences, heavy fines and deportation.

Philippines
While the Philippines re-abolished the death penalty in 2006, penalties for drug offences are still severe. Offenders convicted of possessing even small quantities of "soft drugs" receive mandatory jail terms.

Singapore
Penalties include the death penalty. Corporal punishment, including blows from a rattan cane, may be imposed for drug offenses.

South Korea
Those convicted of possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs can suffer long jail sentences, large fines and deportation.

Sri Lanka
The crime of drug trafficking attracts severe penalties, including the death penalty.

Taiwan
The penalties for drug offences in Taiwan are severe and include the death penalty.

Thailand
In Thailand, penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. The possession of even small quantities of "soft drugs" for recreational purposes can result in lengthy jail sentences and deportation.

Vietnam
Under Vietnam's penal code, those caught in possession of even small quantities of heroin can receive the death sentence. Authorities have announced increased security and investigative measures to combat drug trafficking.

Sources: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; U.S. Department of State.

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