Latest World News

Syria’s “Captagon networks” are in the crosshairs of America and Britain


Sanctions included businessmen, members of the Assad family, and Lebanese

Washington: Heba Al-Qudsi – Beirut: Nazir Reda – London: Asharq Al-Awsat

Yesterday, the United States and Britain announced the imposition of a package of sanctions on networks trafficking the drug “Captagon” in Syria, in a coordinated move, apparently aimed at dealing a blow to this trade, which London says generates up to 57 billion dollars for the regime in Damascus.

The sanctions targeted businessmen and officials of the Syrian regime, two people from the family of President Bashar al-Assad, and two Lebanese people with ties to Hezbollah. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, in a statement, that “members of the family of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and people associated with him depend on the illegal drug trade to fund the regime’s violent repression and abuses of the Syrian people.” He added that the sanctions include those involved in the “Captagon” trade in Syria and Lebanon.

In London, Lord Tariq Ahmed, British Secretary of State for the Middle East, said, “The Assad regime is using the profits from the (Captagon) trade to continue its terrorist campaign against the Syrian people.” “The United Kingdom and the United States will continue to hold the regime accountable for its brutal suppression of the Syrian people and fueling instability across the Middle East,” he added.

The British Foreign Office said that 80 percent of the world’s Captagon market is produced in Syria, and that the regime earns up to $57 billion from trading in this type of drug.

The US and British sanctions include the Lebanese Noah Zuaiter and Hassan Dago. While Duqo bears the title of “King of Captagon”, Zaiter is called “the drug baron”, and some of his villagers in the Bekaa describe him as “Lebanon’s Robin Hood”.
US-British sanctions on the “Captagon networks” in Syria