Jordanian authorities arrest drug trafficker with international gang links

Police say he was seized in the past few days in the city of Irbid near Syria, Jordan's main narcotics supplier

Drugs the Jordanian authorities say were seized in raids against traffickers recently. Photo: Petra.
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Jordanian security troops have arrested a "dangerous criminal" linked with international drug gangs in the northern city of Irbid, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

The authorities are intensifying a campaign against narcotics dealers in the kingdom, who mainly traffic the amphetamine known as Captagon, which is smuggled across the border from Syria.

The spokesman said the man, "who is classified as dangerous and who is linked to international drug gangs", was arrested in recently in an apartment in Irbid "after a long reconnaissance effort".

He said 287 pouches of hashish and 17,000 tablets were found in the apartment.

The man's name and nationality were not released. Irbid is 15km from the border with Syria.

The spokesman said that nine other traffickers were also arrested over the past days in Amman, the city of Ruseifeh, which is on the eastern outskirts of the capital, and in the central governorate of Balkaa.

Last month, Syrian Defence Minister Ali Mahmoud met Jordanian officials in Amman and discussed ways to curb narcotics smuggling from Syria, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said.

The meeting in Amman was the first for a joint security committee that the two sides agreed to set up at the start of this month to deal with the issue.

Jordan has accused the Syrian military and pro-Iran militias in southern Syria of overseeing the smuggling.

The kingdom has been part of an Arab rapprochement with President Bashar Al Assad, and supported the readmission of Damascus to the Arab League in May.

Updated: August 02, 2023, 11:39 PM