Zeit investigation reveals Hezbollah’s drug trade from Syria to Saudi Arabia
German newspaper Zeit published an investigation into the drug smuggling trade organized by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The newspaper interviewed a well-known drug trafficker who revealed the secrets of deadly trade, pointing out that the biggest goal of trade is the Gulf and specifically Saudi Arabia.
“The pills I sell are from the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group and the laboratories spread along the Syrian-Turkish border,” said the drug trafficker, who went by the pseudonym of “the falcon” by the newspaper.
To coordinate with Hezbollah, the drug trafficker contacted an intermediary and the goods were then transported to Syria in vegetable containers.
To transport a load weighing about 4 kilos of Captagon pills from Syria to Turkey, the drug trafficker paid nearly $10,000 to the Ahrar Sham front to facilitate the transfer.
Once the drugs arrived in Turkey, the drug trafficker transferred the load to the port of Mersin, where they then smuggled the pills to Saudi Arabia on cargo ships.
“The pills are usually concealed inside car batteries, while other smugglers hide them in honey boxes or in tanks full of olive oil. At the same time, other traders are taking drugs on board airplanes to Sudan and then sending them to Saudi Arabia onboard ships,” the drug trafficker told German newspaper Zeit.
Saudi customs officers have been in the frontlines of fighting against the smuggling of drugs, especially Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia. In June, officers at Diba port thwarted an attempt to smuggle over two million Captagon pills alone hidden in a truck.
In December last year, security forces seized more than 5 million pills of Captagon at Jeddah’s Islamic Port’s customs in Saudi Arabia.
Captagon is one of several brand names for the drug compound fenethylline hydrochloride. The pills stimulate the central nervous system, increasing alertness, boosting concentration and physical performance, and providing a feeling of well-being.