The production of a drug is one the rise in the Middle East. People are creating a drug, super-amphetamine, known as Captagon.
The distribution chain of the multimillion-dollar Captagon trade involves everyone, from gangs to members of the Saudi royal family.
Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz was even apprehended for trying to transport 40 suitcases of Captagon and cocaine to Riyadh using a private jet.
It seems that profits made from Captagon is used to fund those fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Captagon was made in 1960 by a German pharmaceutical giant Degussa AG. It was used for the treatment of many disorders, narcolepsy and depression. After it was determined that the drug causes addiction, it was removed from the use and banned in 1980s.
This drug is sold for $10 a pill. It was revealed that 56 percent of all amphetamine seizures take place in the Middle East.
According to the UNODC’s annual report, the drug is manufactured in Syria and transported to Europe, Turkey and Lebanon.
Last year, 15 million Captagon tablets were seized in Lebanon. Syrians planned to traffic Captagon in a shipment of corn from Beirut to Dubai. After this raid, Gen. Ghassan Chamseddine concluded that Syria is the main manufacturer of Captagon.
Syria had advanced pharmaceutical industry before the war. It was considered as the second-largest supplier of pharmaceuticals in the region. This is probably the reason why Syria is the main manufacturer of the drug now. Smugglers and criminals found a way to use existing knowledge and substances and pill-pressing equipment to create this drug.
The war in Syria became a catalyst for the production of Captagon because it enabled drug producers to operate more freely. The profit from sales is used to buy weapons, equipment, and supplies for secular brigades operating around Homs.
Even the members of Syrian army became addicted to Captagon, as the drug was given to them because it gives energy.
It was also revealed that Islamist fighters in Syria also use Captagon. This conclusion was made on the behavior analysis of fighters.