Syria Kurds Seize Over 2m Captagon Pills Concealed in Construction Materials

The Syrian army on Tuesday said it has seized more than two million banned stimulant captagon pills smuggled in from surrounding areas and prevented them from being smuggled out of the country.

Kurdish security forces in northeastern Syria said that 438 kilograms of captagon equivalent to 2,570,580 pills were smuggled into Kurdish-held territory from areas to the west.

“This is the biggest captagon bust in northeastern Syria. They were professionally concealed in construction materials such as granite, basalt, and ceramics” a security official told AFP.

The ship was due to be transported to Iraq, the official said, adding its “final destination” was not clear. 

According to a European Union-funded report by the Center for Operational Analysis and Research, captagon exports from Syria reached a market value of at least $3.46 billion in 2020.

Captagon is one of the brand names for the amphetamine-type stimulant fenethylline and is manufactured mostly in Lebanon and Syria, for illegal recreational use, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

On January 16, Saudi authorities busted an attempt to smuggle over 8 million captagon pills and arrested three people in connection.

The seizure operation was conducted at Jeddah Islamic Port when the Saudi Customs Authority discovered 3,054,000 of the captagon pills amongst a consignment of onions and a further 5,281,250 in silicon barrels.


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