Saudi Arabia foils captagon smuggling attempt, seizes 15 million pills

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Saudi Arabia announced Friday the seizure of nearly 15 million captagon pills, an amphetamine that seeks to wreak havoc in the Kingdom as well as across the region.

The customs authority “foiled an attempt to smuggle” the drug through the Red Sea port of Jeddah, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

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As many as 14,976,000 of the pills had been found “hidden in a machine designed to manufacture concrete blocs” in a commercial consignment from abroad, SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia regularly announces seizures of captagon. The drug is known to come from Syria and transits through Lebanon in cargo such as fruit and vegetables.

The Kingdom’s customs authority said it seized a total of 119 million pills last year, and figures so far for 2022 show trafficking of the drug is continuing to rise.

The vast majority of captagon, which derives its name from a once legal drug against narcolepsy, is produced in Syria and Lebanon and smuggled to its main consumer market in the Gulf.

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