Greece has seized drugs worth more than 100 million euros ($113
million) after intercepting a Syrian ship sailing for Libya, the coast guard
said on Friday (14 December 2018).
Officials found about six tonnes of processed cannabis and 3
million super-strength “Captagon” amphetamine pills hidden aboard the Syrian-flagged
“Noka,” it said in a statement.
The freighter, with a crew of 11, was en route from the Syrian
port of Latakia to Benghazi when it was intercepted by Greek authorities off
the southeastern coast of Crete on Dec. 5.
The Noka was escorted to Heraklion port on the Greek island on
Dec. 8, where the authorities unloaded its entire cargo.
The drugs were found under false floors in eight containers,
hidden between layers of coffee, spices and wood shavings.
Syria became a major amphetamines exporter and consumer as the
trauma of the country’s civil war fueled demand and the breakdown in order
created opportunity for producers.
Captagon was said to be a fund-raising tool and stimulant for
militants. The government now controls most of the country and Islamic State is
close to defeat.
Greek authorities have impounded the vessel and its contents.
The crew have been arrested and will appear before a public prosecutor on
Scientists say Captagon is a super-boosted amphetamine with
unique chemical complexities allowing it to induce potent psychoactive effects
far more rapidly than amphetamines alone.