Saudi Arabia foils captagon smuggling attempts, seizes over 2.9 mln pills

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Saudi security forces thwarted two separate attempts to smuggle over 2.9 captagon tablets into the Kingdom through al-Haditha and Rub’ al-Khali border crossings, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday.

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In the first operation thwarted at the Rub’ al-Khali border crossing, security forces found 2,920,000 captagon pills hidden inside electric cables, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) said.

In the second operation thwarted at al-Haditha border crossing, security forces found 24,400 captagon pills hidden inside the drive shaft of a truck.

Authorities have arrested the person who was supposed to receive the shipments, ZATCA added.

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.

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