Jordan's navy thwarts drug smuggling attempt from Red Sea

Seaborne trafficking attempt is unusual. as most narcotics enter the country through land border with Syria

The Jordanian navy displays drugs seized from a thwarted smuggling attempt through the Gulf of Aqaba. Photo: Petra News
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The Jordanian navy on Monday foiled an attempt to smuggle drugs into the kingdom from the Red Sea, state media said.

The official Petra news agency said the navy responded after a boat was spotted entering Jordanian waters at dawn.

“Rapid response boats were sent immediately,” state television quoted a military official as saying. “The infiltrators escaped and after an extensive search, quantities of drugs were found.”

The agency carried photos of the seized drugs but did not mention their nature or quantity.

Jordan has a 24-kilometre coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba, north of Saudi Arabia and facing Israel and Egypt.

Seaborne drug trafficking is rare, as narcotics typically flow over the land border with Syria.

In August, Jordanian security forces arrested 28 people during raids in a lawless desert area near the Syrian border.

Large quantities of drugs, particularly Captagon, cross the Syria-Jordan border every year and travel hundreds of kilometres through Jordan into Saudi Arabia.

Captagon, an amphetamine derivative that is cheap to produce, has become the drug of choice in many parts of the Middle East.

Jordanian officials have increasingly accused pro-Iranian militias operating on the border in Syria of being major players in the Captagon trade, along with the Syrian military.

Last month, Jordan and the US along with other allied forces conducted joint exercises that included drills on border security.

Updated: October 03, 2022, 2:42 PM