A new drug report released by the Thai government says Vientiane has become the center for narcotics trafficking in East Asia, a meeting point for regional drug producers and traffickers.
The report says stiff crackdowns on drugs by Thai authorities has forced traffickers to relocate to the Lao capital, where they meet and hand over their drugs. The city is reportedly a favorite meeting place for traffickers from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia.
Laos which has declared itself opium-free since early 2006 denies that it is a drug hub. Laos drug czar Soubanh Saritthirath says his nation should not be singled out as a drug center or transit point because any of its neighbors can be a center if the trafficked drugs originate from within that country.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.