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Lebanon seizes huge haul of Captagon destined for Sudan at Port of Beirut

by Oct 23, 2022Arab News

Lebanon’s security forces have seized a large quantity of Captagon at the Port of Beirut that was destined for Sudan, officials said on Thursday.

More than 165 kilograms of the amphetamine-type stimulant — the equivalent of around one million tablets — were found inside a shipment containing a road roller ready for export to Sudan, Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said on Twitter.

A Syrian suspect was arrested, the minister said.

Mr Mawlawi claimed that the suspect used a fake Lebanese identity in finalising Customs procedures.

Investigations were under way to uncover details of the operation, he added.

Lebanon, which is suffering political paralysis and economic crisis, has stepped up its efforts to thwart Captagon trafficking through its ports, following criticism from Gulf countries about a lack of co-operation.

In January, Lebanon seized a large quantity of pills hidden in a tea shipment bound for Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East is facing a Captagon crisis  after production, trafficking and consumption of the drug soared in the past decade.

The synthetic amphetamine was first developed in the 1960s as a treatment for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

By the 1980s, it had been banned in many countries due to its addictive properties.

Illicit production — often bearing little relation to the original drug — has continued.

Lebanon's Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi at a press briefing for an earlier Captagon seizure, in Beirut. AFP

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