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Italian police seize more than $1 billion of ‘ISIS-made’ amphetamines

Police in Italy have seized more than 84m fenethylline tablets, weighing 14 tonnes, at the port of Salerno, in what they say is the biggest seizure of amphetamines in the world. (Handout/TNS)

Italian police seized more than $1 billion worth of amphetamines believed to have been produced by the Islamic State terror group in Syria.

According to the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian financial police, investigators tracked three shipping containers to Salerno and inside discovered more than 84 million pills worth \u20ac1 billion ($1.12 billion). The total haul weighed more than 15 tons, police said Wednesday.

The Guardia fi Finanza said it was the world’s largest drug bust.

According to investigators, the drugs were well-hidden, but police used information gathered in ongoing cases against Italian organized crime to figure out where the drugs were going.

ISIS produces amphetamines to finance its terror activities and its organized crime partners take a cut to import and distribute.

Police believe the drugs were intended for other organized crime groups throughout Europe, which may even have gone in on the sale together.

“The hypothesis is that during the lockdown, due to the global epidemiological emergency, the production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe has practically stopped and therefore many traffickers with different organized crime groups have turned to Syria, where it does not seem to have slowed down,” police said.

Investigators said the shipment could have supplies Europe for months as producers on the continent got their operations up and running again.

The drugs, labeled “Captagon,” matched drugs that were found in the hideout of the terrorists who attacked the Bataclan theater in Paris in 2015. ISIS fighters are believed to take the pills recreationally as well as when fighting.

Police said it’s possible that more shipments are on the way or have already slipped past authorities.


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