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BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. and U.Okay. on Tuesday slapped sanctions on 4 Syrians and two Lebanese concerned in manufacturing and trafficking the amphetamine drug Captagon, the 2 governments stated. The six embody cousins of Syrian President Bashar Assad and infamous Lebanese drug lynchpins.

Specialists say Captagon is primarily produced in Syria and Lebanon, the place packages containing thousands and thousands of drugs are smuggled into Gulf international locations, Europe and elsewhere. The commerce allegedly has robust ties to Assad and his associates, in addition to key ally, the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group in neighboring Lebanon.

The U.Okay.’s International, Commonwealth & Growth Workplace assertion saying the sanctions stated the Captagon business is value $57 billion to Assad, and has been a key income as Syria’ rebellion turned-conflict continues for a thirteenth 12 months. Assad’s brutal crackdown on protests in 2011 led to his world isolation, and his forces had been accused of rampant torture, bombing civilian infrastructure, and utilizing chemical weapons with help of key allies Russia and Iran.

“Syria has turn out to be a worldwide chief within the manufacturing of extremely addictive Captagon, a lot of which is trafficked by means of Lebanon,” stated the U.S. Treasury’s Workplace of International Belongings Management director Andrea M. Gacki within the assertion.

Gacki added that the commerce’s revenues allow the federal government’s “continued repression on the Syrian individuals.”

Among the many 4 Syrians sanctioned are two cousins of Assad, Samer and Wassim. In line with the U.S. Treasury’s assertion, Samer oversees Captagon manufacturing within the northern coastal metropolis of Lattakia in coordination with Hezbollah and the Syrian military’s elite Fourth Division. In the meantime, Wassim has been described as a “key determine within the regional drug trafficking community,” whereas additionally main a paramilitary group backing the Syrian military within the battle.

In the meantime, Syrian businessman Khalid Qaddour was additionally sanctioned for his alleged involvement in managing smuggling revenues and allegedly has shut ties to President Assad’s brother Maher, who leads the Fourth Division and has allegedly profited off smuggling illicit medication, cell phones and cigarettes. Syrian militiaman Imad Abu Zureik was additionally sanctioned for operating a militia group with ties to Syrian army intelligence within the south of the nation that the U.S. Treasury stated controls the Nassib border crossing with Jordan. Abu Zureik was a former commander with Free Syria Military opposition forces.

In Lebanon, Washington and London sanctioned infamous weapons and drug smuggler Noah Zeiter, who for years has been on the run from Lebanese authorities. Zeiter previous to the battle in Syria was recognized for producing and smuggling giant quantities of hashish and made occasional bombastic media appearances. Zeiter is shut with Hezbollah and Syria’s Fourth Division.

Hassan Daqqou, a Lebanese-Syrian who the media incessantly dubs “The King of Captagon,” was additionally sanctioned on account of his hyperlinks with Hezbollah and drug trafficking operations by the Syrian military’s Fourth Division. Daqqou was arrested in Lebanon in 2021 and in 2022 was sentenced to seven years of exhausting labor for producing and smuggling Captagon.

Washington and London additionally sanctioned two buying and selling corporations based mostly in japanese Lebanon that Daqqou owns.

By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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