Greece seizes record amount of amphetamine Captagon shipped from Syria

Greek authorities have seized what they described as the world’s largest single haul of super-charged amphetamine Captagon pills from Syria worth more than half a billion euros. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 July 2019

Greece seizes record amount of amphetamine Captagon shipped from Syria

  • Captagon is one of several brand names for fenethylline hydrochloride, a drug compound belonging to the family of amphetamines, stimulants of the central nervous system
  • “It is the largest quantity that has ever been seized globally, depriving organized crime of proceeds that would have exceeded $660 million (587.45 million euros),” the financial crimes unit said in a statement

ATHENS: Greek authorities have seized what they described as the world’s largest single haul of super-charged amphetamine Captagon pills from Syria worth more than half a billion euros.
Coast Guard and drug enforcement officers seized three containers full of the amphetamines, the financial crimes unit (SDOE) said on Friday. The operation involved 20 officers and landed 5.25 tons of the drug — 33 million Captagon pills — found in the containers shipped from Syria.
“It is the largest quantity that has ever been seized globally, depriving organized crime of proceeds that would have exceeded $660 million (587.45 million euros),” the financial crimes unit said in a statement.
Captagon is one of several brand names for fenethylline hydrochloride, a drug compound belonging to the family of amphetamines, stimulants of the central nervous system.
In the 1960s the drug was prescribed to treat narcolepsy and depression but by the 1980s the medical community determined that Captagon’s addictive properties outweighed clinical benefits and it was banned.
However, Captagon is a popular narcotic in the Arabian Peninsula and in war-torn Syria.
Syria became a major amphetamines exporter and consumer as the trauma of its civil war fueled demand and the breakdown in law and order created opportunites for producers.
Greek authorities were trying to determine if the shipment’s final destination was China, SDOE said, without providing further details.


Israel reduces Gaza fuel supply after rocket attack

Updated 3 min 45 sec ago

Israel reduces Gaza fuel supply after rocket attack

  • Israel imposes cut after rocket attacks from Gaza
  • Palestinian enclave suffers chronic blackouts

JERUSALEM: Israel said on Monday it was cutting by half the amount of fuel it supplies to Gaza’s only power plant, in response to rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.
Three rockets were fired from the Hamas Islamist-run enclave at southern Israel on Sunday and two were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, the military said. There was no claim of responsibility.
After the attack, Israel launched an air strike against what the military described as a Hamas military compound. No casualties were reported on either side of the volatile border.
In a statement, COGAT, a unit in the Defense Ministry that coordinates civilian issues with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said “cutting the amount of diesel in half will significantly reduce” the plant’s output.
It said the measure, “following the firing of rockets ... and the continued violation of stability and security” will be in effect until further notice.
Gaza has long suffered from a shortage of electricity and chronic blackouts. A new power line from Israel has been proposed to alleviate the situation.
Mohammad Thabet, spokesman for the Gaza power company, described the Israeli decision as collective punishment.
“We already are in a crisis and now the Israeli decision will make it worse. It will have a grave impact on the lives of 2 million people and on vital services such as hospitals,” Thabet told Reuters.
Currently residents get six hours of electricity followed by 12 hours of blackout. Thabet said the fuel cuts would decrease power time to only four-hour periods.
In a series of border confrontations in recent weeks, Israel said it killed at least eight Palestinian militants who tried to infiltrate its territory.
Israeli and Egyptian blockades have brought the Gazan economy to the brink of collapse. Recent foreign aid cuts and sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’s rival in the West Bank, have worsened the situation.