Italian Police Seize 14 Metric Tonnes Of Drugs Linked To ISIS
The police in Italy have made what they claim is the largest drugs seizure of all time after confiscating 14 metric tonnes of amphetamines linked to ISIS terrorists. Officers can be seen using saws to get into the containers as millions of pills pour out in the below video.
The officers tracked and seized three suspect containers at the port of Salerno, near to Naples in south west Italy and discovered 84 million - yes, that's 84,000,000 - pills that add up to a market value of more than €1 billion (£905k).
Investigators say it is the largest drugs seizure of all time in terms of both value and quantity.
They were stashed away inside paper cylinders that were intended to be used for industrial usage, according to a statement from the Guardia di Finanza financial police this Wednesday.
The investigators believe it to be the biggest drug seizure of all time, and stated that the Captagon logo found on the pills 'distinguishes [this haul as] the 'drug of Jihad''.
The statement reads: "It is known that ISIS/Daesh finances its terrorist activities in large part with the trafficking of synthetic drugs produced largely in Syria, which has become the leading world producer of amphetamines in recent years.
"According to the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration), ISIS makes wide use of these drugs in all the territories over which it exerts influence and controls its sale."
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The terrorist organisation is known to be able to produce Captagon amphetamines in large quantities, not just for their own use, but to sell abroad to raise money, according to the Italian police.
Police believe this shipment was intended for distribution around Europe by organised crime syndicates.
The police statement continued: "The hypothesis is that during the lockdown, due to the global epidemiological emergency, the production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe has practically stopped and therefore many traffickers with different organized crime groups have turned to Syria, where it does not seem to have slowed down."
Captagon was originally a brand intended for medicinal use. It's no longer used for that, but illegal drugs bearing the logo regularly turn up in the Middle East, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
They added: "In addition, some recent media reports have linked this drug to perpetrators of terrorist acts in Europe or terrorist groups based in areas of conflict in the Middle East."
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime President Yury Fedotov said in June 2015: "[Islamic State] and al Nusra Front are also believed to facilitate the smuggling of chemical precursors for the production of Captagon."
Featured Image Credit: Guardia di Finanza Napoli