Jordan destroys 12.8 million seized Captagon pills and other drugs

Kingdom is fighting an escalating drug war on its borders with Syria

Jordanian authorities destroyed 12.8 million pills of the illegal stimulant Captagon and other drugs in the largest destruction of seized narcotics to date. AFP
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Jordanian authorities destroyed 12.8 million pills of the illegal stimulant Captagon, the General Security Directorate has said. It is the latest public display of state efforts to combat the flow of narcotics, which comes mainly from Syria.

The directorate published a photo of security personnel placing bags in a furnace and said the destruction was a result of relentless operations against traffickers "across the kingdom".

The statement, issued late on Wednesday, said the police forces are working with the military and customs units to improve intelligence and reconnaissance to stop "the entry of these substances and their passing through the kingdom".

The Captagon was destroyed along with 2.6 tonnes of hashish and three kilograms of cocaine linked to 43 drug cases, the statement said.

The seized quantities were destroyed in special furnaces at 1,000ºC, the directorate said.

Jordan has historically been a conduit of hashish flows from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, parts of which are strongholds of the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, to other parts of the region including the Gulf, as well as being a consumer market.

But in the past five years Captagon became the main illegal substance in the Levant, with the outskirts of Damascus and other regime areas in Syria acting as production centres, Arab security officials say.

Curbing the flow of Captagon from Syria partially prompted Jordan two years ago to agree to a Russian-brokered rapprochement between the kingdom and Damascus. But the movement of Captagon shows no signs of abating and last year Jordan began to blame the Syrian military and pro-Iranian militias operating along the border for the increase in drug smuggling.

Jordanian officials also said the military would respond more assertively to infiltration attempts and drug dealing inside Jordan.

Earlier this month Jordanian official media said Jordanian troops battled smugglers from Syria and arrested one of them, in another armed encounter in an escalating drug war on the kingdom's northern border with regime-held areas of Syria.

Updated: March 16, 2023, 10:21 AM