Two days ago, the Saudi General Directorate for Drug Control announced that it had thwarted one of the largest drug smuggling operations heading to the country, noting that this “criminal” operation contained more than 19 million tablets of the drug “amphetamine”, as it was hidden in the packages of the “mate” plant.
– Drug control (@Mokafha_SA) April 28, 2020
– SPA General (@SPAregions) April 28, 2020
In this specific operation, 4 persons involved were arrested: a Saudi citizen, a citizen of Bangladesh, and two persons of Syrian nationality residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the Directorate’s statement.
Although the General Directorate and the Saudi official authorities did not explicitly mention the source of the shipment, however, looking at the “mate” packages, it is clear that it is from the “Green Map” brand, which is owned by the Syrian Kabour family, which according to the opposition “Zaman Al-Wasl” website, acquires most of the Mate market. The Syrian owner and owner is one of the regime’s supporters and financiers.
To the UAE, on the 26th of last February, Dubai Police announced thwarting the largest operation of its kind to smuggle Captagon drug in the world, as it reached 1.8 billion dirhams (about half a million US dollars) and the amount of seizures exceeded five tons, equivalent to more than 35 million tablets Captagon was smuggled from the port of Latakia in Syria. The quantity was literally hidden inside huge metal wires.
The Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief confirmed at the time the arrest of 4 Arab people belonging to an international gang involved in drug trafficking.
Video | Dubai Police displays for the first time a video of the arrest of those involved in the # Pule2 Which resulted in the seizure of 35 million and 755 thousand tablets as a Pentagon weighing 5 tons and 656 kilos and 166 grams and the arrest of 4 people pic.twitter.com/BwQopfz8Ml
– Dubai Police (@DubaiPoliceHQ) February 26, 2020
This attempt to smuggle drugs into Arab countries from Syria is not an orphan. By going back to the date of April 12 this year, the Egyptian authorities thwarted an attempt to smuggle a large amount of “hashish” drugs hidden inside the milk cans aboard a ship coming from Syria heading to Libya via Egypt.
The shipment’s load reached 4 tons of hashish hidden inside closed milk cans bearing the trademark of the “Milkman” company owned by the Syrian businessman, and the relative of the Al-Assad family, Rami Makhlouf, who issued a statement in which he disavowed this shipment, and denounced the “resort of drug dealers to using products His company to do these jobs, ”he said.“ Whoever distorts this development work by unloading these products and filling them with narcotic substances is a cowardly coward who carries the top of offending our work and our company. ”
Also in Egypt, specifically on January 19th, the General Administration of East Tafra’a Customs in Port Said managed to thwart an attempt to smuggle a quantity of drugs that includes more than half a ton of hashish packed into 2,700 pieces and hidden in 1128 apple cages coming from Syria to East Port Said Port in the name of an import company And export.
It appears that the smuggling of drugs from Syria is not limited to Arab countries, as the Greek authorities confiscated on 5 July 2019 what they described as “the largest amount of narcotic drugs seized in the world” coming from Syria.
The Financial Crime Unit said that the Coast Guard and anti-drug officers confiscated three containers full of amphetamines, including 33 million Captagon tablets, valued at about $ 660 million.
Also in Greece, specifically in mid-December 2018, the Coast Guard seized a drug-carrying ship flying the Syrian flag and was on its way to Libya, and Reuters reported at the time, that the Greek authorities had found six tons of hashish and three million narcotic pills on the ship.
Reuters added that the ship left the port of Latakia and was heading to the city of Benghazi when the Greek authorities intercepted it off the coast of Crete.
Hezbollah and drugs
All these seizures related to countries ’drug control reveal the large scale of smuggling from areas controlled by the Syrian regime, but the most prominent is Hezbollah’s management of this system, as a study prepared by the Studies Center at the“I’m a humanThe Syrian opposition that Hezbollah, in cooperation with the elements of the regime in the “Fourth Division”, introduced equipment to manufacture narcotic Captagon pills known as pistons to the western countryside of Daraa.
The study says that these narcotic pills are manufactured and distributed to the youth in Syria, as well as provided to the volunteer elements in the ranks of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah, in addition to smuggling them abroad.
In late 2017, the US magazine “Politico” revealed in A 3-part investigation On Hezbollah’s drug-related activities with Iranian support, the report touches on the obstruction of the administration of former US President Barack Obama, to the course of the investigation aimed at reaching a nuclear agreement with Tehran.
The investigation at the time was known as the “Alexandra Project”, and it was referring to Hezbollah’s activities in the arms and drug trade, money laundering, and others.