Saudi Arabia seizes multimillion dollar captagon shipment in latest drugs swoop

Saudi Arabia seizes multimillion dollar captagon shipment in latest drugs swoop
Saudi Arabia has become the world's largest captagon market, with the drug being illicitly smuggled from Syria and Lebanon.
2 min read
16 March, 2023
The haul had a street value of up to $117 million, according to estimates [Getty images]

Saudi port authorities have seized a haul of amphetamine pills worth millions of dollars in two shipments of medical supplies on Wednesday, as the kingdom struggles to contain the booming illicit captagon trade in the region. 

The drugs bust seized 4,693,000 pills of amphetamines, according to a statement by the General Directorate of Narcotics Control (GDNC). 

A Jordanian national - the intended recipient of the deliveries - was arrested and referred to the public prosecutor, according to the Saudi Press Agency

The street value of the pills was estimated at up to $117.3 million.

Saudi Arabia is now  the world's biggest captagon market and the kingdom's customs body seized 119 million pills of the amphetamine in 2021 alone.

Live Story

Saudi officers thwarted an attempt to smuggle 47 million amphetamine pills into the country in August 2022, a quantity which was described as the largest ever drug trafficking operation in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia metes out extremely severe punishments for drugs offences - with many offenders facing the death penalty.
A Jordanian man was executed on 12 March in a controversial case where activists say a confession was obtained under torture.

More than a thousand death sentences have been implemented in Saudi since King Salman assumed power in 2015, according to a report published earlier this year by Reprieve and the European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights.