Jordan court sentences Captagon drug producers to lengthy jail terms

Security officials say the country has become a conduit for the drug from Syria into the Gulf

Captagon is the most in-demand narcotic substance in the Middle East. AFP
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A Jordanian security court sentenced 11 men to jail on Monday in connection with operating Captagon factories in and around Amman, state media said. They face up to 30 years in prison.

The announcement highlights what the authorities describe as increased efforts to combat expanding drug producing and smuggling rings in the kingdom and on its borders.

Security officials say that in the past two or three years, Jordan became a main conduit for Captagon from Syria into the Gulf, as well as having its own production.

Official television described the case as one of the biggest crackdowns on drug manufacturing by Jordanian authorities.

The court charged 21 men with “manufacturing drug substances in partnership with international gangs for the purposes of trading”.

Five of the 21 are at large. Another five were pronounced either not guilty or as having no relation to the case.

Six of the 11 men were awarded 30 year prison terms while the remaining five received five to 10 years in jail.

The identity of the accused was not made public. State media said some of them were foreign nationals.

Court documents said the accused set up fake companies and used the businesses to import millions of dollars' worth of material and equipment, which were used to manufacture Captagon from 2009 to 2018.

They opened bank accounts to process revenue from “large amounts” of pills that were sold in Jordan and smuggled abroad.

Production started in the Muaqablein area on the edge of Amman before members of the gang built two other factories near the capital.

Captagon is the most in-demand narcotic substance in the Middle East. The drug was first produced in the 1960s as an alternative to amphetamine.

Jordan’s General Security Directorate said on Sunday that security forces arrested five drug traffickers in Amman and adjacent provinces who sold Captagon and other drugs.

The army said this month that it confiscated 770,000 Captagon pills after intercepting smugglers who came from Syria.

Updated: December 20, 2021, 3:26 PM