In Low Key Move, Singapore’s Central Bank Adds 26 Tonnes To Its Gold Reserves

In Low Key Move, Singapore’s Central Bank Adds 26 Tonnes To Its Gold Reserves

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com

It has just come to light that Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), added 26.35 tonnes of gold to its official monetary gold reserves over a 2 month period between May and June this year, in the process boosting its strategic gold holdings by 20% to a claimed 153.76 tonnes.

This addition to the monetary gold holdings of the Monetary Authority of Singapore was first pointed out by the World Gold Council’s Krishan Gopaul in a 25 November tweet, following an update to Singapore’s gold holdings appearing in the IMF’s International Financial Statistics (IFS) database, a source which World Gold Council uses to keep track of central bank and sovereign gold holdings.

May and June: 26.35 tonnes added

While it’s unclear why changes to Singapore’s monetary gold holdings from May and June only made it on to the IFS database in recent days, looking more closely, the Monetary Authority of Singapore did ‘reflect’ the May and June gold purchases at the end of July and August, respectively, via updates to the MAS’ monthly “International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity” report, but did not announce or mention the additions specifically.

Before looking at how this substantial gold purchase by Singapore went unnoticed, here are the raw numbers from the MAS site itself. Up until the end of April 2021, Singapore’s central bank (MAS) had been reporting total gold holdings of 4,096,439 fine troy ounces, or 127.42 tonnes, a figure which had not changed since at least 2002 (which is as far back as World Gold Council records go).

During May 2021, MAS reports that it added 527,201 ozs (16.4 tonnes) of gold, taking it’s gold holdings as of end of May to 4,623,640 ozs (143.81 tonnes).

During June 2021, MAS reports that it added a further 319,801 ozs (9.95 tonnes) of gold, which increased MAS’ gold holdings as of end of June to 4,943,441 ozs (153.76 tonnes).

This means that over the two months May and June 2021 inclusive, MAS purchased 847,002 fine troy ounces of gold (26.35 tonnes), and in doing so increased it’s gold holdings by 20.67%, and at the same time rising from 30th to 28th place in the world gold holding rankings.

Quietly and Discreetly

Each month, the World Gold Council (WGC) updates it’s World Official Gold Holdings spreadsheet (xls) in which it ranks sovereign gold holders largest to smallest based on how many tonnes of monetary gold each country holds. Looking at the latest version of this report (November), it lists Singapore in 30th position with 127.4 tonnes ‘as of August 2021’, and this spreadsheet has not yet been updated (at time of writing) to reflect the 26 tonnes of gold purchased by Singapore in May and June.

The WGC ranking methodology states that: This table was updated in November 2021 and reports data available at that time. Data are taken from the International Monetary Fund’s International Financial Statistics (IFS), November 2021 edition, and other sources where applicable. IFS data are two months in arrears, so holdings are as of September 2021 for most countries, August 2021 or earlier for late reporters.

IMF IFS data will only get updated if and when an individual country informs the IMF of a change to that country’s gold holdings. It appears then that the World Gold Council’s data for Singapore’s gold holdings is based exclusively on the IMF IFS data, and that this IFS data has for some reason only in recent days been updated to reflect Singapore’s gold purchases, which means that for some reason Singapore has only very recently informed the IMF of it’s May-June gold buying.

For verification, I ran a data query in the IMF IFS database for search criteria Singapore, for each month of 2021, with the data indicator of “International Reserves and Liquidity, Reserves, Official Reserve Assets, Gold (Including Gold Deposits and, If Appropriate, Gold Swapped), Volume in Millions of Fine Troy Ounces, Fine Troy Ounces”.

This data query output the following:

IMF IFS data extract showing Singapore’s gold holdings from January – August 2021

From the IFS data, you can see that Singapore’s (MAS) gold holdings remained unchanged at 4.1 million ozs until the end of April 2021, then increased to 4.62 mn ozs at the end of May, and then increased again to 4.94 mn ozs at the end of June, after which MAS gold reserves remained unchanged.

MAS Monthly International Reserves report

However, knowing now that MAS purchased gold during May and June, I went back and checked on the actual MAS monthly ‘International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity’ reports on the MA website.

The MAS ‘International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity ‘ report for April 2021, which was published on 30 June 2021, shows the Singaporean central bank reporting a total of 4,096,439 fine troy ounces (or 127.42 tonnes). See Item 4 “Gold (including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped)”.  

The same report for May 2021, which was published on 30 July 2021, then shows that the volume of gold held by MAS at the end of May was 4,623,640 fine troy ounces, which was 16.4 tonnes more than at the end of April.

The report for June 2021, published on 31 August 2021, shows that as of end of June MAS held  4,943,441 fine troy ounces of gold, a 9.95 tonne increase over May, and a combined May-June increase of 26.35 tonnes.

Just for completeness, the report for July 2021, published on 30 September, shows that gold holdings then remained constant at 4,943,441 ozs, i.e. there were no further gold purchases beyond June.

Singapore volume of gold held, as per MAS “International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity’ report, end of June 2021. Source

Despite the two-month lag in reporting, these reports show that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) did report increases in gold holdings on 30 July and again on 31 August, but for whatever reason, no one noticed, or else those who noticed it did not publicise it. There is a slight chance that MAS has recently altered it’s “International Reserves” reports since May to retrospectively show these gold purchases, but it would seem quite absurd to do so, even in the secretive world of central bank gold reporting.

Besides, an Internet Archive of the preliminary MAS “International Reserves” report for end of August (published end of September) and archived on the Wayback Machine on 6 October, shows that even then (at the end of September) MAS was, on it’s website, reporting it’s latest gold holdings of 4,943,441 ozs.

The Secretive World of Central Bank Gold

So overall, it seems to be a case of no one noticing the updated gold holdings data in the MAS monthly “International Reserves” reports since the end of July, and at the same time, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) not highlighting it’s gold purchases to either the gold market or the financial press, i.e. there was no press release, no other form of announcement, nor even any comment on either the MAS website or from central bank officials. In contrast, central banks, such as Poland, have made many public statements about their gold buying, and even signal their gold buying in advance.

For a central bank which actively publishes reams of publications and reports on all sorts of topics related to Singapore’s financial sector and markets and it’s international financial position, this omission about Singapore’s sizeable gold purchases could be considered quite strange, but then again, given that we are dealing with the secretive world of gold and central banks, maybe it’s not so strange.

In addition, MAS is famous for it’s obsession with maintaining and controlling the exchange rate of the Singaporean dollar (versus a basket of currencies), so perhaps MAS prefers not to draw attention to the amount of gold in it’s international reserves as this might encourage FX markets to view the gold purchase as a move that strengthens Singapore’s reserve position and hence could put upward pressure on it’s exchange rate.

Showcase in the GIC (Sovereign Wealth Fund) Office in Singapore commemorating Singapore’s first gold purchase of 100 tonnes  in 1968 – “A Torn Dollar Bill And Gold For Singapore”. Source

From Washington to Switzerland 

In 1968, Singapore’s finance minister Dr Goh Keng Swee and senior adviser Ngiam Tong Dow were responsible for securing Singapore’s first gold reserves when they negotiated with South Africa’s finance minister Nicolaas Diederichts to purchase 100 tonnes of gold from the South Africans at $40 per ounce while attending a World Bank meeting in Washington D.C.

Realising that the Bretton Woods system would soon collapse, and on advice from Ngiam Tong Dow, Dr Goh decided “In that case, we had better go and buy gold from the South Africans.”  

Given that there was an embargo on South Africa, intriguing the gold deal was conducted in Dr Goh’s hotel room in Washington D.C. and they turned up the TV to full volume to counter possible listening devices. According to Ngiam Tong Dow, when Diederichts agreed, he said “OK, you send your man to Switzerland, we’ll deliver the gold to you in Switzerland, and you pay us in Switzerland.” Diederichts then took out a $1 bill, ripped in in two halves, kept one half, and gave the other half to Ngiam Tong Dow saying ‘You keep this. I will keep the other half, and my man will meet you in Switzerland.” And just like that, 100 tonnes of gold changed hands. It may sound like a James Bond storyline, but this story is actually factual.       

A few months later the deal was finalised when Ngiam Tong Dow and Singaporean banker Wee Cho Yaw flew into Switzerland and went to the offices of the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) where they met the Swiss banker representing the South Africans. Upon handing him the one half of the dollar bill, and seeing that the serial numbers matched, the Swiss banker said “OK, your identity has been established”. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sometime subsequent to 1968 (but before 2002) Singapore added to its gold reserves to bring them up to the 127.4 tonnes level, and now yet again, Singapore has added another 26.35 tonnes during May and June 2021.

Extract from “A Mandarin and the Making of Public Policy” Reflections of Ngiam Tong Dow, Source

While the negotiation of this latest gold purchase may not have been as intriguing and James Bond-esque as Singapore’s 1968 gold purchase, in the world of central bank gold markets anything is possible, and we could well imagine MAS officials in exotic Swiss locations or Washington DC hotels.

But like their 1968 compatriots who were quiet and discreet in their negotiations, so yet again Singapore’s central bankers have added a sizeable tonnage to Singapore’s monetary gold reserves, so discreetly, that no one, until now, even noticed. And that’s the way the secretive central bankers like it.

Yet with this gold purchase, Singapore’s central bankers are now signaling that after years on the sidelines, they feel compelled at this time to come back to the gold market as buyers.  While yet not covered by mainstream financial media, this is a major move by one of the world’s most savvy and discreet central banks.

This article was originally published on the BullionStar website under the same title “In low key move, Singapore’s central bank adds 26 tonnes to its gold reserves“. 

Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/29/2021 – 21:40

27 More Russian Diplomats Expelled From US – Kremlin Vows Retaliation

27 More Russian Diplomats Expelled From US – Kremlin Vows Retaliation

The United States is preparing to expel over two dozen more Russian diplomats by January, as part of  ongoing tit-for-tat punitive efforts which previously saw the Russian government forbit its citizens from serving as local staff for the US Embassy in Russia, greatly reducing its ability to process visas and other actions in a timely manner.

The Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov revealed over the weekend in an interview that “our diplomats are being expelled” and detailed that 27 diplomats and their families are due to be expelled from American soil.

“A large group of my comrades, 27 people with families, will leave us on January 30,” Antonov described according to ReutersHe said the embassy and consulates are now “facing a serious staff shortage.”

Russian consulate in Seattle, via Newsweek

This follows two dozen Russian diplomats being told to leave in September, with the US refusing to renew their visas as is the normative practice. When that prior event happened, Amb. Antonov complained, “It has gotten to the point where the U.S. authorities cancel valid visas of spouses and children of our staff with no reasons provided. The widespread delays in renewing expired visas are also aimed at squeezing Russian diplomatic workers out of the country.”

The State Department at the same time has downplayed that the moves have been retaliatory, instead framing it as but the result of an expired, unrenewed visa issue.

On Monday Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov lashed out at Washington. He was cited in Russian media sources as demanding the US “must stop”

We will definitely respond. We have already warned the US side that in order to prevent a further decline of personnel numbers here we cannot help but to respond. They must stop,” Ryabkov said.

And he described further, according to Sputnik that “the matter of issuing visas for Russian diplomats travelling to the US remains acute. He slammed Washington for perpetuating the practice of intentionally separating the families of diplomats by denying some of them visas.”

In October Congressional hawks actually proposed an even bigger wave of expulsions, which would damage relations to the point of potentially breaking US-Russia communications altogether.

Citing the refusal of Moscow to in a timely manner issue more visas for American employees of the Moscow embassy, leading Senators had called for the US banning as many as 300 Russian diplomatic staff from the US. Given what’s looking to be multiple waves of expulsions, it’s possible that high number could eventually be reached at this rate.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/29/2021 – 21:20

Teacher Unions, Parents Gird For 2022 Battles

Teacher Unions, Parents Gird For 2022 Battles

Authored by Susan Crabtree via RealClearPolitics.com,

Over the last year, school board meetings have become ground zero for the country’s culture wars as irate parents have showed up in droves to decry school COVID closures, mask mandates, and critical race theory, as well as transgender policies.

After political analysts credited a parental uprising with helping Republican political newcomer Glenn Youngkin capture the Virginia governorship this month, these fights show no sign of easing. Both major political parties are already gearing up for next year’s midterm elections with Republicans sensing an advantage and Democrats digging in to defend beleaguered school boards, teacher unions, and the progressive policies they hold dear.

This week, conservative parents and their supporters are expressing new outrage over news that the FBI is placing “threat tags” on individuals accused of harassing or trying to intimidate school board members and teachers. For months, disgruntled parents have angrily targeted school board trustees for recalls across the nation, regularly denouncing union control of the schools as the crux of the problem. Recall attempts against school board trustees have tripled in 2021, targeting at least 216 officials, according to Ballotpedia.

But in at least one school district in Southern California, parents are warning their like-minded revolutionaries across the nation to be careful what they wish for and to get ready for a tough fight ahead. After gaining majority control of the local school board, they found themselves on the other side of the firing line with teacher unions vigorously targeting their trustee allies.

A local affiliate of the California Teachers Association has spent months this year trying to wrest back control of the school board after some of its trustees successfully fought alongside parents to reopen schools earlier this year. The union’s actions, while flying below the national radar, were unusually aggressive. 

They included spending up to $60,000 in union funds on a private firm to collect recall signatures against one trustee; successfully recalling the only African American on the board; and hiring a private investigator to follow the school board president home from meetings in an effort to challenge her residency within the district.

Why is the union so focused on regaining control of this particular school board? For local parents, it’s no mystery. The answer is the ripple effect of pandemic politics.

Frustrated by coronavirus lockdowns, a group of parents in North County San Diego founded an association and sued the state to overturn pandemic rules limiting the number of days of in-person learning or completely blocking some schools from reopening at all. In mid-March, San Diego Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland ruled in the association’s favor, prohibiting the state from enforcing its restrictions, which she agreed were “arbitrary,” interfered with school districts’ reopening plans for in-person instruction and denied children’s “fundamental right to basic education equality.”

Moreover, in the absence of a contrary ruling by a higher court, the judge’s decision applied to the entire state, sending a clear message to the CTA (the biggest statewide union) and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration that their guidelines weren’t mandates and they must allow school districts to reopen more rapidly.

The San Dieguito Union High School District, a high-performing area with 13,000 students and 600 teachers, had scheduled school re-openings for January 2021 but reversed course when the union sued in December to block that action.

School board Trustee Michael Allman, who was elected to the board last fall, was the lone dissenting vote. Allman’s outspoken opposition won strong support from local parents organizing on a Facebook forum, a group that quickly grew to more than 2,000 supporters. Other board members, including President Maureen “Mo” Muir, had also started pushing back against COVID school closures.

The San Dieguito Faculty Association, the local CTA affiliate, launched a recall campaign against Allman just five months into his four-year term. The union accused Allman, a former energy company executive, of violating the district’s code of conduct, charges he denies and that he believes arose from a public war of words over schools’ pandemic policies taking place on social media sites.

The SDFA a few months ago gave itself permission to spend up to $60,000 hiring a private firm to gather 5,000 signatures needed to recall Allman. At least $14,500 of that came directly from the CTA. Yet, even with the private help, the union recently gave up and the recall failed to qualify.

Allman had fought back, spending nearly all of his free time going door to door defending himself. He said he heard from supporters that recall signature gatherers were falsely accusing him of being under criminal investigation, among other “outlandish lies,” so he sent a cease-and-desist letter to SDFA President Duncan Brown. He says he’s still considering filing a defamation suit.

“It’s hard to beat the unions. I prevailed because I have the support of parents who are speaking up like never before,” Allman said in an interview.

“Put yourself in my shoes. Teachers are spreading lies about me in the community, so I went door-to-door with parents to say, ‘Hey, I’m a good guy, and I support parents.’”

He says he had a roughly 50% conversion rate of area residents who said they had already signed the recall petition. (State rules allow for the rescinding of signatures.)

But the SDFA, again with significant CTA help, successfully forced a special election for another seat on the school board, which was held by Ty Hume, the only African American member of the all-white panel. Hume, a businessman and openly declared independent, had been appointed after a union-backed trustee resigned earlier this year. Hume’s appointment gave non-union-aligned members a three-to-two majority on the board.

The SDFA took issue with Hume’s appointment, arguing that voters should have had a say in his election. His opponents produced the necessary signatures to rescind the appointment and call a special election, costing the district up to $500,000 to hold. But the gambit worked: Hume was defeated by union-backed candidate Julie Bronstein, who out-fundraised him with donations from the SDFA, another public employee union, as well as the local congressman, Rep. Scott Peters.

In a more bizarre twist, the same union hired a private investigator to follow Mo Muir home to see whether she was in fact living in the district she represented, as required by law. The private eye determined that the board president was renting out her home, which was up for sale, leading the local teacher union president to file a complaint with the district attorney. But Muir explained that she was spending time at the home of her elderly mother-in-law in Lake Tahoe during the height of the pandemic lockdowns. She sold her home but rented another within the district boundaries. The district attorney has yet to take any action; a spokeswoman said the office has a policy of declining to say whether it’s involved in an investigation.

Brown declined an RCP interview request but provided a lengthy written statement, arguing that “democracy prevailed” because the union successfully ousted Hume, whom the board had appointed, and allowed residents to elect Bronstein, who won with nearly 60% of the vote.

“While our efforts to recall Michael Allman did not result in activating a special election … we have been successful in highlighting Allman’s abuses of office to the broader community,” Brown said. He noted that the effort collected more than 4,000 signatures while thousands of other district residents “have been made aware of the dysfunction of our school board majority.”

Brown didn’t respond to an RCP request to outline Allman’s “abuses of office” and whether he or anyone else in the union is responsible for the false information Allman says was circulating about him.  “SDFA will continue to stand for our students, our educators and our community,” he said.

Area parents’ groups privately warn of a greater union backlash to come if reform groups successfully recall and replace school board trustees in large numbers across the country.

Yet this is precisely what conservative groups are pledging to do nationally, although competing with the unions’ massive organization and deep pockets is a tall order for the newly energized patchwork of parents’ groups.

A national group called 1776 Action, which promotes teaching children a traditional appreciation of America’s founding, is asking candidates and elected officials to sign a pledge calling for the restoration of an “honest, patriotic education.” The group is a conservative response to the New York Times’ 1619 project, which frames all of U.S. history through the prism of slavery.

“2021 is really going to sort of be seen as kind of a canary in the coal mine of what’s coming down the pike next year and into the future,” Adam Waldeck, the group’s president, recently told the Associated Press.

“This will be the year that I think primarily parents stand up and say, ‘You know, we have a voice, too.’ And I think it’s going to be overwhelming.”

Kimberly Fletcher, the president and founder of Moms for America, another group organized to fight for school reopenings and against CRT and other liberal education policies, recently protested at the headquarters of the National School Boards Association in Alexandria, Va. Her organization, along with numerous other voices on the right, denounced a letter the NSBA sent to the Biden administration urging it to treat complaints aimed at school boards and teachers as possible acts of “domestic terrorism.” After a nationwide uproar, the group rescinded the letter and apologized to its members.

Fletcher says she views the outsized role fed up parents played in the Virginia governor’s race as a “precursor of what’s to come” in the 2022 midterms.

“I have been saying for years that the moment that moms find out what’s going on behind closed doors in our schools, there’s going to be a national revolt, and that’s exactly what’s going on,” she said. “We’re just getting started.”  

In recent months, she said several members of her group have been running for spots on school boards and winning in places such as Texas and Idaho, as well as the swing states of Pennsylvania and Colorado.

The moms group is providing training sessions for prospective board candidates and for newly elected trustees, which, Fletcher argued, is far more powerful than trying to compete dollar-to-dollar with unions.

“Here’s the beauty of it — when you’re fighting for parents’ rights, you don’t need a lot of money to win,” she argued. “It’s a matter of principle.”

Still, the well-oiled teacher union machine can be formidable, especially in more liberal areas of the country. While angry parents helped fuel Youngkin’s win in purple Virginia on Nov. 2, the same day the entire Denver school board flipped from trustees supported by education reform organizations to union-backed candidates.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/29/2021 – 21:00

China Has No Plans To Invite U.S. Politicians To Olympic Games 

China Has No Plans To Invite U.S. Politicians To Olympic Games 

Last week WaPo cited multiple officials within the Biden administration who said President Biden would soon declare a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Before the White House could even announce a formal boycott for U.S. leaders – including Congressional members, Communist Party-backed Global Times said Monday that Beijing has no intentions to ask U.S. politicians to attend the Games. 

Global Times indicated that Beijing has “no plans to invite U.S. and Western politicians” who hype the “boycott” of the Winter Games. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday at a regular briefing in Beijing that a White House decision to block the U.S. president and other U.S. government officials from the Winter Olympics could be announced shortly. He said the Games are “a gathering of winter sports lovers and athletes from around the world, not a stage for political posturing and manipulation.”

“The U.S. and a handful of countries make an issue of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games and link their officials’ attendance with so-called human rights issues,” Wenbin said. “This is, in essence, a smear campaign in the name of defending human rights.”

At the center of the controversy are Biden and other Western politicians who criticize Beijing’s handling of Muslim minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang. Secretary Jen Psaki recently said the U.S. had “serious concerns about the human rights abuses we’ve seen in Xinjiang.”

Global Times said China plans a “simple, safe and splendid” Olympic Games without anti-China politicians. It noted that the Games might be more impressive without these politicians who do nothing more than make trouble. 

Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee, told CBC News that countries should resist calls to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics because it would hurt athletes. 

Despite global calls for boycotting the Games, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said he was attending the sporting event. 

While Biden and other Western politicians stand against China’s human rights record, Beijing is thankful these politicals aren’t showing up to create controversy. 

Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/29/2021 – 20:40

The Hidden Victims Of Biden’s Border Crisis

The Hidden Victims Of Biden’s Border Crisis

Authored by Callista Gingrich via The Epoch Times,

President Joe Biden’s immigration policies have led to chaos at the southern border, fueling a national security and humanitarian crisis. The blatant disregard for the rule of law by the Biden administration will have serious long-term consequences that will affect future generations of Americans.

On Sept. 27, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration issued its first Public Safety Alert in six years. The warning alerted Americans to the “sharp increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.”

According to the DEA’s alert, the availability and lethality of these counterfeit pills have significantly increased. Such pills are produced by criminal drug networks and designed to resemble legitimate opioid or stimulant medications, such as Oxycontin, Xanax, and Adderall. Unknown quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine are known to be pressed into these counterfeit pills, making them dangerous for users.

The synthetic opioid that is most often identified in counterfeit pills is fentanyl, which is the primary cause of the dramatic increase in overdose deaths in the United States.

Fentanyl is a lab-manufactured drug used to treat pain that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. According to the DEA, just 2.2 pounds of fentanyl could potentially cause the deaths of 500,000 people. A lethal dose of fentanyl is just two milligrams, an amount so minuscule that it can fit on a pencil tip.

Although China is the primary source for fentanyl precursors, counterfeit pills most often come to the United States from Mexico after being pressed by Mexican cartels. Kyle W. Williamson, the former head of the DEA’s El Paso division, said, “It’s the worst it’s ever been. The amount of methamphetamine and fentanyl coming in right now is unprecedented.”

In the first nine months of 2021, more than 9.5 million fake pills have been confiscated. This figure is higher than the total number of counterfeit pills that were seized in 2019 and 2020 combined. Moreover, out of all of the pills which are laced with fentanyl, two out of five have been found to contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug.

When users ingest one of these counterfeit pills without knowing what they contain, it is like playing a game of Russian roulette that can lead to death within minutes.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that during a 12-month period ending in April, overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 for the first time. Sixty-four percent of these deaths were caused by synthetic opioids, namely, fentanyl. The majority of these deaths were attributed to 25-55 year olds. Young Americans, however, were also put at risk.

Counterfeit pills can be purchased through social media and other e-commerce platforms, which means that young people with smartphones can easily acquire them without their parents’ knowledge and without realizing the dangers.

According to the most recent data from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2019, more than one in six adolescents (4.3 million) between the ages of 12 and 17 used illicit drugs. More than 560,000 adolescents misused opioids and, nearly 245,000 adolescents misused prescription pain relievers for the first time in their lives.

When teenagers purchase counterfeit pills, they are often unaware of how much fentanyl the pills contain. The cartels have little concern for the safety of their victims, as they have figured out that the addition of fentanyl to counterfeit pills is a way to ensure their customers remain addicted to illicit drugs.

Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, in partnership with the Fentanyl Overdose Response Team, is leading the charge to save lives from falling victim to these dangerous drugs.

Education is a key component of Smittcamp’s strategy. As she said in the documentary, “Killer High,” “There is such a high volume of this substance that we cannot police or prosecute our way out of this crisis—we have to educate people. The more people who know how lethal this drug is, the more lives we can save.”

We must do more at the national level to educate Americans about the devastating effects of fentanyl and methamphetamine. Unless we stop the flow of these deadly drugs into the United States and provide law enforcement and first responders with the necessary tools and resources to combat this crisis, young lives will continue to be tragically lost.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/29/2021 – 20:20

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