Iraq seizes 15 tonnes of illegal drugs, two arrests

AFP , Thursday 31 Aug 2023

Iraqi security forces said Thursday they had seized 15 tonnes of illegal drugs, contraband pharmaceuticals and precursor chemicals and made two arrests.

File Photo- Officer empties a bag of tablets of captagon, drug trafficking convictions can be punishable by the death penalty in Iraq. AFP


They said the chemical components confiscated in Baghdad are used to manufacture crystal meth and captagon -- two drugs whose consumption has surged in Iraq in recent years.

The drug squad made the seizure in an upscale neighbourhood of the capital, the interior ministry said in a statement.

"Two suspects were arrested and brought to justice," said Colonel Bilal Sobhi, spokesman for the unit that is attached to the ministry.

The squad confiscated "15 tonnes of narcotics, chemical components used in the manufacture of drugs, and contraband medicines not registered with the health ministry," he said.

Sobhi said the chemical components seized are used to make captagon, a synthetic amphetamine-type drug, and crystal meth or methamphetamine.

Iraqi authorities regularly announce the seizure of captagon pills, usually from neighbouring Syria.

War-scarred Iraq, originally mainly a drug transit country, has faced an explosion in narcotics use in recent years, mainly of captagon and crystal meth.

In early August, Iraqi justice officials announced the arrest of a trafficker in possession of 35 kilograms of opium and more than half a million captagon tablets.

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