Jordanian Authorities Seize Imported Captagon Precursor Chemicals From Production Facility in East Amman, Highlighting Persistent Threat of Captagon Smuggling in Middle East
Authorities in Jordan raided a hangar in an industrial area in east Amman used by drug traffickers as a laboratory for the production of captagon, an illegal amphetamine-type stimulant and common drug of abuse in the Middle East. Security officials said that the raid was the first of its kind in Jordan. Authorities began investigating the trafficking operation several months ago based on a tip, and said that officials discovered that the drug smugglers had imported chemical precursors from abroad in order to manufacture the captagon. Police arrested eight suspects in connection with the case, and also seized two million captagon pills during a raid on an apartment in Amman utilized as a storage center by the trafficking gang. Authorities said that the seized precursors were sufficient to manufacture over 100 million pills of captagon.
BSI reported a similar incident in Lebanon in January 2017, in which Lebanese security forces raided a captagon production facility in Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley. BSI regularly records seizures of captagon from cargo shipments originating in Jordan and Lebanon, with these shipments most frequently destined for users in Saudi Arabia. Traffickers utilize a variety of modalities to ship the drug, although most shipments recorded by BSI originating in Jordan are introduced into cargo trucks aboard ferries departing the port of Aqaba and destined for the Red Sea port of Duba in Saudi Arabia.