Iraqi Police Seize Over 6 Million Captagon Amphetamine Pills | News

Syria is the main producer of the drug Captagon in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia is the main consumer market.

Iraqi security forces seized more than six million pills of the amphetamine-type stimulant Captagon, making multiple arrests and dismantling a drug trafficking network.

“About 6.2 million pills” were discovered in a warehouse southwest of the capital, Baghdad, the national security agency said in a statement on Saturday.

Three Iraqi nationals and four suspects from other Arab countries were arrested in connection with the trafficking network, the agency said, adding that the drugs were intended for distribution “in areas of Baghdad and other provinces.”

Security forces also dismantled a second drug ring when three men were arrested with six kilograms of hashish.

All 10 suspects “admitted ties to international drug trafficking networks,” the agency said.

Convictions for drug trafficking can be punishable by death in Iraq.

Captagon was the trade name for a drug initially patented in Germany in the early 1960s that contained an amphetamine-type stimulant called phenethylline, used to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, among other conditions.

The drug was later banned and became an illicit substance produced and consumed almost exclusively in the Middle East, approaching what is known in other countries as “speed”.

Syria is the main producer of Captagon in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia is the main consumer market.

Saudi customs officer opens imported pomegranates as customs foiled an attempt to smuggle over 5 million Captagon pills in 2021 [File photo: Saudi Press Agency/AP]
Saudi customs officer opens imported pomegranates as customs foiled an attempt to smuggle more than five million Captagon pills in 2021 [File photo: Saudi Press Agency/AP]

In April 2021, Saudi customs officials at the port of Jeddah thwarted an attempt to smuggle more than 5.3 million Captagon tablets, which were hidden in shipments of pomegranate from Lebanon.

The drug bust prompted Saudi Arabia to suspend fruit and vegetable imports from Lebanon, saying the shipments were being used for drug smuggling and accused Beirut of inaction.

Then, in June of last year, Saudi Arabian customs foiled an attempt to smuggle over 4.5 million Captagon pills hidden in a shipment of oranges from an undisclosed country, and a further 14.4 million pills were discovered hidden. in a shipment of iron slabs from Lebanon.

Drug sales and use in Iraq have soared in recent years. Security forces have stepped up operations and make almost daily announcements of arrests or arrests.

In the first three months of this year, more than three million Captagon tablets were seized by Iraqi authorities.

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