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Syria becomes world’s largest ‘narco-state’: Report

According to reports, Syria has now become the world’s largest narco-state, with the majority of its foreign currency earnings coming from the production and export of Captagon, a highly addictive amphetamine commonly referred to as “poor man’s coke”. In line with the definition provided by Collins Dictionary, Syria can be classified as a narco-state as the illegal trade of narcotics, specifically Captagon, forms a significant portion of its economy, accounting for over 90 percent of the country’s foreign currency earnings.

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Syria: the leading producer of Captagon:

Experts have indicated that Syria is the leading producer of Captagon, a highly addictive amphetamine that is primarily exported to the Gulf region. Due to sanctions or a halt in trading with Syria following the crackdown on protesters by President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, the regime, in conjunction with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, increased the production and export of Captagon to Gulf countries.

The rapid growth in the production and use of illicit drugs, particularly Captagon, has raised concerns globally. In response, the US enacted the Captagon Act last year, which links the trade of the drug to the Assad regime in Syria and labels it a “transnational security threat.”

What is Captagon?

  • Captagon is a popular recreational drug among the youth in Gulf states, as well as being used by armed individuals who feel invincible while under its influence
  • It is sometimes referred to as “Captain Courage” or “Jihadi magic potion”
  • Additionally, Captagon is used by dieters, students studying for exams, and people who work double shifts, at night, or have multiple jobs to make ends meet
  • The cost of manufacturing Captagon is as low as USD 1 per pill
  • However, the need to pay bribes to smugglers, soldiers, secret police, warlords, and customs officials to pass various routes and checkpoints increases the price of the drug
  • The price can go up to USD 14-20 per pill due to these additional costs.

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