Syrian official says drug cases in government-held areas declined by half

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Nidal Jreij, head of the Anti-Narcotics Department in the Syrian government said on Tuesday that there has been a noticeable decline in drug cases by about half compared to last year.

Since the beginning of this year, 4,991 drug cases have been registered, while last year at this time it was 9260.  The number of defendants has reached 6,408 compared to 11,730 last year, according to Jreij’s statements to the semi-official newspaper al-Watan.

According to international reports, with the imposition of sanctions on the Syrian government since the beginning of the Syrian war, the government has relied on a large scale to finance itself through drug production and smuggling.

Al-Watan revealed that the Drug Administration seized 1.4 tons of narcotic hashish, more than 6.4 million Captigon pills, and more than 95 thousand psychotropic pills.

It also seized 6.2 kg of heroin, 13 g of cocaine, 2.2 kg of cannabis seeds and more than 23.7 kg of Methamphetamine.

The Jordanian army said on Saturday that they had thwarted an attempt to infiltrate and smuggle large quantities of narcotics coming from Syrian territory, and confiscated 716,000 Captigon pills.

The official denied the widespread use of drugs in Syria, saying that the information circulated on social media is inaccurate.

Jreij also denied that Syria has become a narco-state , adding that it is a transit country for drugs, due to its geographical location.

Reporting by Adnan Hamo