Italian authorities destroy record seizure of amphetamine Captagon

Source: 1News

Italian authorities have destroyed the largest haul ever seized of the drug Captagon, an amphetamine used by militants fighting in the Middle East. 

The 14-tonne haul, with a street value NZ$1.7 billion, was discovered hidden inside machinery and paper cylinders in container ships in the port of Salerno. Authorities announced the find in July.

The drug is used recreationally and by fighters in the Syrian conflict because of its fear-suppressing effects.

Captagon is produced in the Syrian regime and in rebel-held areas. Recent reports suggest rather than Islamic State being responsible for the production and the trafficking of the drugs, it is likely Captagon funded militant activities of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Captagon is the brand name for fenethylline hydrochloride, which has been banned in most countries since the 1980s. It was originally produced in the 1960s to treat depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Versions of the drug remain popular in the Middle East, but have fallen out of use in Europe.