RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it had seized nearly 10 million captagon stimulant pills over a three-month period, underscoring the continuing high demand for the drug in the Gulf state.
In the three months to mid-September, the interior ministry said its forces seized 9.92 million of the pills, as well as 6.4 tonnes of hashish and 10.1 kilogrammes of heroin.
The ministry valued the drugs at 330 million riyals (88 million dollars), and more than 200 arrests were made in the seizures, according to the announcement on the official SPA news agency.
Captagon is classified by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as an "amphetamine type stimulant" and usually blends amphetamine, caffeine and other substances.
It is particularly popular in Gulf and other Middle Eastern countries. Regional captagon busts have risen steadily, making the Middle East and Southwest Asia the leading region for amphetamine seizures, according to the UNODC.
The UNODC said Bulgaria and, to a lesser degree, Turkey are believed to be the main sources of captagon, with much of it trafficked through Syria.
September 29, 2010
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