Tuesday September 06, 2022

Syria seizes bowls of hummus made out of 24 kg captagon

Syria seizes bowls of hummus made out of 24 kg captagon

A videograb shows bowls made out of crushed captagon in Damascus. AFP

Rlixa Report

Syrian authorities have seized 24 kilogrammes of captagon that had been crushed and reconstituted to look like hummus bowls.

Amphetamine is produced in pill form, but these smugglers crushed it and made it into a paste to "shape ceramic-like dishes coated with a brown adhesive," the Syrian Home Office said.

A man was arrested in Damascus in connection with the foiled smuggling attempt.

There were no details where the shipment of fake hummus bowls was headed.

In recent years, captagon smugglers have found more and more imaginative places to hide their drugs, from fake oranges to real hollowed out pomegranates and pitted olives.

Some have specially ordered and manufactured various ornamental objects or construction machines with cavities containing pills that can only be recovered on the other side by destroying their objects.

By making items with the amphetamine powder itself, traffickers are learning from the book of drug cartels in Latin America.

Notably, cocaine in its hardest-to-detect liquid form can be used to soak anything from plywood to t-shirts and be recovered once it reaches its destination.

Most of the world's production of captagon comes from Syria, spurring a multi-billion dollar industry that has made the drug by far the country's biggest export.

Some Gulf nations are the biggest market for captagon, a multipurpose drug popular with the party elite but also used for weight loss and by students in various jobs.

According to AFP, around 250 million captagon capsules were seized worldwide in the first eight months of 2022.

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