Officers tracked three suspect containers to the port of Salerno in southwest Italy and located 84 million tablets with a market worth of €1 billion ($1.12 billion) inside paper cylinders for industrial use, the Guardia di Finanza monetary police stated in an announcement Wednesday.
Investigators stated the bust is the biggest drug haul on this planet. The tablets carried the “Captagon” brand, which “distinguishes the ‘drug of Jihad,'” in keeping with the assertion.
“It is known that ISIS/Daesh finances its terrorist activities in large part with the trafficking of synthetic drugs produced largely in Syria, which has become the leading world producer of amphetamines in recent years,” police stated.
“According to the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration), ISIS makes wide use of these drugs in all the territories over which it exerts influence and controls its sale.”
The group can be capable of simply produce giant portions of artificial medicine to promote on world markets, elevating large quantities of cash, added police.
The investigation and bust have been carried out on a decree from the Naples public prosecutor, the assertion added. Police consider the medicine have been supposed for distribution in Europe by varied organized crime teams.
“The hypothesis is that during the lockdown, due to the global epidemiological emergency, the production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe has practically stopped and therefore many traffickers with different organized crime groups have turned to Syria, where it does not seem to have slowed down,” police stated.
Captagon was initially the model identify for a medicinal product containing the artificial stimulant fenethylline. It is not produced or used, however medicine carrying the Captagon identify are usually seized within the Middle East, in keeping with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
The drug is a standard stimulant within the Middle East, and can be utilized in some international locations bordering the European Union, the group stated.
“In addition, some recent media reports have linked this drug to perpetrators of terrorist acts in Europe or terrorist groups based in areas of conflict in the Middle East,” the EMCDDA added.
In 2015, Source reported on a US official who believed that some jihadist fighters have been utilizing Captagon, which may trigger a surge of power and a euphoric excessive.
In addition to reportedly taking the drug themselves, militants in Syria on either side of the combating can also be making the most of the manufacturing and trafficking of the tablets, in keeping with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“(Islamic State) and al Nusra Front are also believed to facilitate the smuggling of chemical precursors for the production of Captagon,” UNODC chief Yury Fedotov stated at a press convention in June 2015.
The counterfeit Captagon tablets include amphetamine in addition to different chemical substances, in keeping with the UNODC.