Thursday November 30, 2023

US slaps sanctions on Assad’s cousins over captagon drug

March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two cousins of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the trafficking of the stimulant drug captagon, a growing export for the state, which is quickly normalizing ties in the region.

An AFP investigation in November found that Syria has become a narco state with the $10 billion industry in captagon dwarfing all other exports and funding both Assad and many of his enemies. The United States, in coordination with Britain, announced it was imposing sanctions on two of the president´s cousins, Samer Kamal al-Assad and Wassem Badi al-Assad over the drug trade. Samer Kamal al-Assad owns a factory in the coastal city of Latakia that produced 84 million captagon pills in 2020, the US Treasury Department said.

“Syria has become a global leader in the production of highly addictive captagon, much of which is trafficked through Lebanon,” said Andrea Gacki, the senior Treasury official handling sanctions.