Egypt cracking down on Syrian, Lebanese shipments in anti-drugs effort
The Egyptian Customs Authority will tighten control procedures at various air, land and sea customs ports in the country, specifically on containers and goods arriving from the two Levantine countries according to a document obtained by news outlet Cairo 24.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Damascus has become one of the Arab world's biggest exporters of Captagon - a prohibited amphetamine-type stimulant. Lebanon too has become a major transit point for the drug.
"Control procedures are being tightened at various ports on incoming containers and goods from Syria and Lebanon… to combat the smuggling of narcotic substances that come to the republic," the Customs Authority document published by Cairo 24 read.
The document said detection devices will be used and customs authorities will collaborate with specialist anti-drug police forces to execute the crackdown.
Syria’s ruling Assad regime is believed to be at the centre of the country’s illegal drug trade, with family members and militia affiliates generating significant revenues from selling Captagon internationally, according to investigations by international media.
However, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime denies involvement in the drug's manufacture and sale.