Eight suspected drug smugglers have tried to enter Jordan from Syria with a large shipment of illegal drugs, the Jordanian Anti-Narcotic Department and the Military Security Department said.
According to the state-owned news agency Petra, surveillance troops on the northern frontline spotted the smugglers when they tried to cross into the Kingdom from Syria.
An army source said the Jordanian troops engaged and forced the infiltrators to flee back into Syria. After searching the area, the drugs were found – 50,000 Tramadol pills, 1.62 million Captagon pills, 49 palm-sized sheets of hashish, along with some ammunition.
Drug smuggling has been on the rise in war-torn Syria, with profits from the lucrative business being used to finance rebel groups, according to analysts. Last month, media reports claimed that pro-Iranian group Hezbollah, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was involved in drug smuggling operations in Latin America.
German media reported that “[Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah is in charge of the drug smuggling in Syria and Iraq.” It added that a group of Hezbollah’s senior leaders living in southern Lebanon have been involved in a series of money laundering operations in Europe in the past two years, providing an estimated €75 million for Nasrallah’s militias.
This month, Greek police on the island of Crete said it seized six tons of marijuana aboard a Syrian ship trying to smuggle the drug to Egypt. The crew of the ship managed to set sail from the Syrian port of Latakia for landing off the coast of Egypt, only to be prevented by Egypt’s maritime security.
According to Egyptian police, the smugglers then moved to the south of the Greek island of Crete to avoid being arrested. After a coordination with Greek authorities, they seized the ship and the cargo and arrested the six-person Syrian crew.