Kuwait has foiled an attempt to smuggle 17 kilograms of drugs into the country hidden inside live sheep.
Narcotic trafficking, production and consumption in the Middle East have increased tremendously in the past decade, especially of the synthetic amphetamine Captagon.
“Seventeen kilograms of amphetamine were found hidden in the guts of imported sheep and were seized by officials in the presence of the Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Al Sabah in the Kabd area, west of the country,” state news agency Kuna reported.
Authorities have said the drugs came from neighbouring countries but did not specify which.
The suspects were “referred to the relevant authorities to take the necessary legal measures,” said the statement.
Sheikh Thamer spoke of his “pride and appreciation” of security officials' efforts to protect the country from drug trafficking.
Last month, they seized four kilograms of drugs hidden inside a furniture container shipped from Iran at Shuwaikh Port.
In August, Kuwait’s customs authorities said they had seized 1.5 kilograms of drugs hidden in boxes of fruit that also came from Iran.
Captagon is currently the most in-demand narcotic in the Middle East.
Millions of pills are being intercepted by customs officials in the Gulf every month as the region continues to crack down on trafficking.
Captagon, a brand name for the amphetamine fenethylline hydrochloride, was originally produced in the 1960s as an alternative to methamphetamine and was used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and, less commonly, depression.
It was banned in most countries in the 1980s because of its highly addictive nature.
Commercial manufacturing of the drug stopped but illegal production continues, often of counterfeit pills sold as Captagon.