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SEIZURE: Record bust of war drug “chemical courage” at Greece’s main port

PortandTerminal.com, July 8, 2019

Greece’s financial crimes unit (SDOE) has seized $660 million worth of “war drug” amphetamine Captagon pills at the Piraeus Port.

ATHENS – A record amount of Captagon, “the pill of the jihadists“, has been confiscated by the Greek authorities in the port of Piraeus.

Coastguard and drug enforcement officers seized three containers full of the amphetamines, the financial crimes unit (SDOE) said on Friday. The operation involved 20 officers and landed 5.25 tonnes of the drug – 33 million Captagon pills – found in the containers shipped from Syria.

Destined for China

Port of Piraeus: 33 million Captagon pills – were found in containers shipped from Syria and destined for China

The head of the Drug Enforcement Division of the Business Directorate of the Athenian Labor Organization, Loukas Daneas, noted that “there was information from the American Drug Enforcement (DEA) about the existence of containers at the port of Piraeus, which had come from Syria and had a final destination in China.

Pill of the Jihadists

“Chemical courage” – Militants in Syria are said to use Captagon to endure in battle. But it’s also popular with wealthy young people in the Middle East.

Captagon, the trademark name for the synthetic stimulant fenethylline, was first produced in the 1960s to treat hyperactivity, narcolepsy and depression, but was banned in most countries by the 1980s as too addictive. It remains hugely popular in the Middle East; Saudi Arabia alone seizes some 55m tablets a year, perhaps 10% of the total thought to be smuggled into the kingdom.

“There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon.”

Jihadi describing effect of Captagon

Separate investigations by the news agency Reuters and Time magazine have found that the growing trade in Syrian-made Captagon – an amphetamine widely consumed in the Middle East but almost unknown elsewhere – generated revenues of millions of dollars inside the country last year, some of which was almost certainly used to fund weapons, while combatants on both sides are reportedly turning to the stimulant to help them keep fighting.

The drug is cheap and simple to produce, using ingredients that are easy and often legal to obtain, yet sells for up to $20 a tablet.

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