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Can US-UK sanctions dismantle Syria’s drug industry?

Caroline Rose

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The value of the trade has expanded from $3.47 billion in 2020, $5.7 billion in 2021, to $10 billion in 2022

This week, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced that both governments have imposed joint sanctions against Syrian and Lebanese individuals affiliated with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah — all implicated in the illicit trade of the amphetamine-type stimulant Captagon throughout the Mediterranean-Gulf zone.

The joint announcement acknowledged the trade’s growing influence in the region’s security, health, and political landscape, growing into an illicit economy estimated to be worth over $10 billion in value.

The FCDO identified 11 individuals involved in various stages of Captagon production and smuggling and identified the Captagon trade as a concerning “financial lifeline” for the Syrian regime.

Read the rest in Al Majalla.