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Authorities bust large shipment of narcotics intended to ship out of Mafraq

By Rana Husseini - May 13,2019 - Last updated at May 13,2019

AMMAN — The Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) on Monday announced the arrest of two Arab nationals who reportedly attempted to smuggle 200,000 narcotic pills to a neighbouring country through Mafraq.

The two men were arrested after AND agents were informed of their plans to hide the pills inside the furniture they intended to ship out of Jordan, Police Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said.

“The suspects were monitored by AND agents and they were arrested at a house in Mafraq without any major incident,” the police official told The Jordan Times.

Upon searching the premises, according to a statement by the Public Security Department (PSD), operatives found the narcotics hidden inside pieces of furniture.

The two suspects were referred to the State Security Court prosecutor for further questioning and indictment, according to Sartawi.

According to PSD figures in 2018, AND agents seized 47 million Captagon pills, 2,093 kilogrammes of hashish, 155 kilogrammes of “joker”, 74,738 kilogrammes of marijuana, 10,557 kilogrammes of heroin, 1,693 kilogrammes of cocaine and 820,790 various pills.

Captagon (fenethylline) is a synthetic stimulant similar to amphetamine.

The pills are usually manufactured and transported from neighbouring countries in the north via Jordan to rich countries on the southern borders, AND officials have told The Jordan Times in previous interviews.

Drug smugglers, officials have said, target rich countries “because one Captagon pill there is worth JD7, while its market value in Jordan does not exceed JD1 per pill”.

Although banned in most countries in the 1980s, illegally produced and smuggled Captagon — sometimes containing amphetamine instead of fenethylline — is a common drug abused in the Middle East, according to web sources.

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