France’s customs agency announced Tuesday it had seized two huge shipments of Captagon, dubbed the “jihadists’ drug,” this year.
The haul—135 kilograms in total, with a street value of nearly 1.5 million euros—was intercepted by French authorities at Charles de Gaulle airport twice in recent months, first in January and then in February.
Some 350,000 pills of Captagon, a type of amphetamine drug widely used by rebel fighters in Syria and terrorists before entering battlefields, were first found on January 4 stashed among industrial moulds at Paris’ busiest airport.
The 70 kilograms of amphetamines were coming from Lebanon and apparently heading to Czech Republic. But an investigation launched by German and Czech authorities revealed the drugs’ intended destination was actually Saudi Arabia, via Turkey, the agency said.
On February 22nd, another 300,000 pills were found hidden in steel moulds. Captagon, a drug patented in 1962 to treat sleep disorders and classified by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as an “amphetamine-type stimulant,” keeps users awake for long periods of time and gives them a sense of euphoria.
ISIS fighters who have taken the drug say it allows them to kill with abandon and without fear.
Similar seizures have taken place in other European countries this year, notably Holland, where police raided an illegal drugs lab and found tens of thousands of fake pills bearing the ‘Catpagon’ label on them.
The pills, which contained a mixture of caffeine and amphetamine, had been stamped with the name ‘Catpagon’ to increase their street value. The biggest legal consumer of Captagon is currently Saudi Arabia, where it is favored by princes and refugees, both seeking a means of escape.