The 14-ton cargo was detected in the Italian port of Salerno hidden in paper cylinders
Italian police announced Wednesday the record seizure of 14 tons of amphetamines in the form of 84 million tablets made in Syria by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
This kidnapping carried out in the port of Salerno (in the south of Naples) is worth a billion euros (about 1.2 billion dollars ) on the market, according to a statement by the Italian police, which assures that it is the “seizure largest amphetamine in the world “.
According to the investigation led by the Naples prosecutor’s office, the drug was found in three containers, which contained paper cylinders for industrial use and machinery.
These multilayer paper cylinders, about two meters high and 1.40 meters in diameter (probably made in Germany), allowed to hide about 350 kg of tablets placed in the inner layers without being detected by a scanner.
The tablets were sealed with the symbol “Captagon,” a drug classified as a narcotic product, also known as a “Jihad drug,” according to the researchers.
“It is known that the Islamic State finances its own terrorist activities, mainly through the trafficking of synthetic drugs produced in Syria, which, for this reason, has become the world’s leading producer of amphetamines in recent years, ” emphasizes the statement from the policeman.
The investigation had begun two weeks ago, when the same Naples investigative unit on organized crime intercepted a shipment of contraband clothing, concealing 2,800 kg of hashish and 190 kg of amphetamines in the form of a million pills.
This first shipment, sent by a Syrian company, caught the attention of customs, because it was destined for Libya through a Swiss company, according to information from the newspaper La Repubblica.
The three new containers intercepted this Wednesday were issued by the same Syrian company to the same Swiss company , the newspaper added.
The researchers estimate that a “consortium” of criminal groups is involved, because the 85 million tablets can satisfy a market of European stature that goes far beyond Italian consumption.
According to a hypothesis, it could be a “cartel” of clans of the Camorra (Neapolitan criminal group).
Confinement due to the coronavirus epidemic most likely blocked the production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe. As a result, many traffickers reportedly sought supplies in Syria.
Initially produced in Lebanon and spread in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, this drug was found in places where terrorists were staying, such as those responsible for the 2015 Paris attacks.
With information from AFP