Jordanian customs department recently seized one tonne of amphetamine pills being smuggled in date paste at the border with iraq. a total of six million pills of the drug known as captagon were found inside two refrigerated lorries, making it one of the largest such hauls ever intercepted. reports have linked powerful figures in business and the military to the manufacturing and distribution of captagon.
Seizure happened at the al-karamah border crossing between iraq and jordan last month. a 2021 report by a cyprus-based think tank said captagon production had a market value of about $3.5bn. skirmishes between the jordanian military and drug traffickers are becoming more frequent, with larger hauls being made. last january 27 traffickers were killed as the jordanian army foiled a co-ordinated effort to cross into the country.
Is produced in huge quantities in syria, which a decade-long war has turned into a narco-state. at the height of the conflict militant groups supplied the drug to fighters – which is often laced with caffeine – to boost their courage. with growing poverty, many ordinary syrians became involved in the trade, which is now worth far more than any legal exports. the amphetamine is smuggled into neighbouring countries, such as jordan and lebanon, and the final destination is often in gulf states where there is a big market. soldiers have a shoot-to-kill policy when dealing with drug traffickers.