Drugs disguised as Putin intercepted in Libya

Drugs disguised as Putin intercepted in Libya
This is not the first time hashish has washed up on the Libyan coast.
2 min read
07 February, 2022
Libyan citizens have come across several shipments of hashish on the beach over the past few days. [Getty]

Libyan authorities announced they had discovered 323 bars of hashish stamped with a pictures of the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Libya's eastern shores, the local monitor The Libya Observer reported on Saturday.

The hashish was found on a beach by a local resident. It follows a similar finding that took place a few days ago.

The bars of hashish were stamped with pictures of the famous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and washed ashore near two other towns in eastern Libya.

The near-simultaneous findings are likely linked to the sinking of a smuggler's boat.

Large quantities of hashish are thought to be smuggled through Libya and its territorial waters: between July 2017 and December 2020, Libyan authorities seized 71.95 tonnes of cannabis at an estimated market value of 1.79 billion Libyan dinars ($238 million).

This represents a portion only of the vast quantity of drugs thought to circulate through Libya, with the backing of warlords who generate profit from this illicit economy.

An August 2021 investigation by Al-Araby Al-JadeedThe New Arab's Arabic-language sister publication, shed light on a large drug-smuggling network between Syria and Libyan ports involving operatives allegedly closely linked to warlord Khalifa Haftar, eastern Libya's military leader.

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Libya has also become a transit point for growing quantities of captagon smuggled from Syria and heading to North African and European markets via the Mediterranean.

Large quantities of the drugs have been seized there and in Egypt over the past few months.