United States and United Kingdom sanctioned this tuesday to several relatives and close people Syrian dictator Bashar al Assadas well as Lebanese companies and citizens involved in the production or export of Captagon, a brand of fentanyl.
“This action underscores the Al Assad family dominance in the illicit trade in Captagon and their obtaining financing for the oppressive Syrian regime,” said the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
According to the institution, Syria has become a world leader in the fentanyl production, a highly addictive drug, much of which is trafficked through Lebanon. Their trade has become a multi-billion dollar illicit enterprise.
He Captagon is the drug of hezbollah produced in the Bekaa Valley in southern Lebanon to distribute to militiamen who remain on alert for several days on the battlefront of Syria, which was later disseminated to young people in the Arab world, who have difficult access to the consumption of alcohol and other drugs. It is an opiate that is called a “sleep drug”.
It is made by the terrorist group and is consumed by a large number of fighters in Syria, because it allows you to stay awake for several days and is worth very little money. Hezbollah also introduced it to the youth of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, since a bottle of whiskey -a smuggled illicit product worth 800 dollars- is too expensive compared to a dose or pill of Captagon ranging from half a dollar in Syria to 10 or 15 in the Gulf.
Among those sanctioned is Khalid Qaddoura Syrian businessman and close associate of Maher Al Assad, head of the notorious Fourth Division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and brother of the president, who is responsible for managing the income generated by illicit activities such as drug trafficking.
Also Samer Kamal Al Assad and Wassim Badi al-Assad, cousins of the president. The former oversees Captagon’s key production facilities in Latakia, Syria, while the latter is a key figure in the regional drug trafficking network.
Another of those sanctioned is Imad Abu Zureika former commander of the Free Syrian Army who now heads a militia affiliated with Syrian Military Intelligence (SMI), and has played an important role in enabling the production and smuggling of drugs in the south of the country.
As for the designated Lebanese, it appears Hassan Muhammad Daqqoua Lebanese-Syrian nicknamed “The King of Captagon”, facilitated smuggling across the Syrian-Lebanese border under the protection of Hezbollah associates.
There are also two sanctioned companies, Hassan Daqqou Trading and Al-Israa Establishment for Import and Export, directly or indirectly run by Daqqou.
AND Noah Zaitara known arms dealer and drug dealer, who is currently wanted by the Lebanese authorities for drug trafficking.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals in the United States must be blocked and reported to OFAC.
(With information from EFE)
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