A Flood of Captagon in Jordan: The Recent Busts

Published February 2nd, 2022 - 09:09 GMT
A Flood of Captagon in Jordan: The Recent Busts
A man shows fake oranges filled with Captagon pills intercepted by the customs and the anti-drug brigade at the Beirut port, in the Lebanese capital, on December 29, 2021. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Over recent months Jordan’s military, border security and Anti-Narcotics Department have been combating a flood of smuggling attempts bringing Captagon and other drugs into the country.

The attempts primarily come from Syria, which has become a safe haven for drug producers and smugglers, and have increased in number significantly compared to recent years.

According to the head of Jordan’s narcotics department the number of Captagon pills seized by Jordanian authorities doubled in 2021 from the prior 2020 year.

The amount of Captagon seized has varied from case to case but the attempts have consistently occurred on a near monthly basis.


In August, 2021, Jordan Customs and the Anti-Narcotics Department seized approximately 2.3 million Captagon pills hidden inside clothing accessories being transported in two trucks.

In December, 2021, Anti-Narcotics Department personnel reportedly seized approximately 250,000 Captagon pills along with hashish and crystal meth from drug dealers in busts that took place in Irbid, Jordan.

In January, 2022, approximately 2.7 million Captagon pills were seized at the Jaber-Nasib border crossing in one bust and another 200,000 pills were seized in another bust that occurred later in the month.

And the smugglers behind these cases aren’t just stepping up their number of attempts: They’re also stepping up their willingness to use violence to accomplish their goals.

A Jordanian army officer was reportedly killed and three more injured after smugglers coming from Syria opened fire on soldiers patrolling the border. Then, just over a week later, Jordan border guards engaged in the most intense encounter with smugglers yet.

According to a report from Jordan’s state news agency Petra, border guards killed 27 drug smugglers after a firefight broke out along the Jordan-Syria border. The smugglers reportedly retreated back into Syria after the fight and no Jordanian personnel were killed or injured.

While these encounters are difficult to predict and Jordan’s armed forces have their hands full, one safe assumption that can be made is that drug smugglers attempting to bring Captagon into Jordan won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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