Jordan thwarts smuggling of around ten million Captagon pills from Syria

A shipment of drugs that Jordanian authorities managed to seize during an attempt to smuggle it to Saudi Arabia from Syria - June 5, 2024 (Jordanian Al-Mamlaka TV)

A shipment of drugs that Jordanian authorities managed to seize during an attempt to smuggle it to Saudi Arabia from Syria - June 5, 2024 (Jordanian Al-Mamlaka TV)


The Jordanian Anti-Narcotics Department thwarted the smuggling of a “large quantity” of drugs and arrested members of “two gangs linked to regional networks for drug trafficking.”

The Jordanian Public Security Directorate said today, Wednesday, June 5, that after intelligence and operational efforts that lasted for two months and investigations in which security agencies participated, the suspects involved in the operations were arrested, and the drugs were seized.

It added that 9.5 million pills of the Captagon drug were among the smuggled materials, alongside 143 kilograms of hashish hidden in heavy machinery in preparation for smuggling them through the Omari crossing towards Saudi Arabia.

While Jordan did not specify the source of the drugs or the regional networks responsible for smuggling them, Reuters agency said their source is Syrian.

The agency quoted Jordanian officials as saying that Jordanian authorities tracked two separate operations for weeks, aimed at bringing a shipment of drugs through Jordan’s northern border with Syria. However, unlike previous drug seizures, the drugs were seized on the Saudi border.

The sources added that the Lebanese Hezbollah and other militias loyal to Iran, which control a large part of southern Syria, are behind the increase in drug and weapon trades, estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

The Jordanian Public Security Directorate also published a video on its official Facebook page showing clips of the security operation they launched during the tracking of the drugs that ended up on the Saudi border.

On May 15th, two Jordanian sources told Reuters that Jordan thwarted an “Iran-led conspiracy” to smuggle weapons into the US-allied kingdom to aid opponents of the ruling monarchy in carrying out sabotage acts.

The agency quoted the sources (who were not named) as saying that factions supported by Iran sent weapons in Syria to a cell affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, which has ties to the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Jordanian forces managed to seize the cache when cell members, who are Jordanians of Palestinian origin, were arrested in late March, according to the agency.

Jordan has repeatedly expressed its discontent with smuggling operations from Syria. There have been recurring statements by Jordanian officials, both past and present, accusing the Syrian regime of managing these smuggling operations.

In an article published by the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad in September 2023, former Jordanian Minister of Information, Samih al-Maaytah, stated, in the context of reviewing the challenges facing his country, “The drug war led by Iran and its claws in Syria, along with the regime, is still ongoing.”

Al-Maaytah also accused the Syrian regime, in previous statements, of being directly involved in drug smuggling.

Jordan continues to attempt, through political channels involving the Syrian regime, to reach a formula to end the flow of drugs from Syria. However, these initiatives have not borne fruit to date.


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