German and Islamic State link
In separate mafia raids, Italian police seized 84 million amphetamine pills with possible Islamic State origins that were hidden inside German-origin paper cylinders. Police found 14 tons of pills marked Captagon – a highly addictive amphetamine-based drug that has been widely trafficked by IS – that police said was of Syrian origin.
It is “well known” that Islamic State “finances its activities largely by trafficking synthetic drugs largely produced in Syria, which has become the leading world producer of amphetamines in recent years,” Italian police said.
The Guardia di Finanza customs and financial crimes police said they suspected the involvement of the Camorra, the mafia organization that operates in Naples area, of being involved in the drugs, which were intercepted at the port of Salerno.
The Guardia di Finanza said it was likely that European drug traffickers had turned to Syrian suppliers after amphetamine drug production in Europe was largely halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in another bust, Italy’s anti-mafia police said on Tuesday they had disrupted a major international drug trafficking ring between Albania and Italy.
Two years of investigations revealed an alleged network of Italian and Albanian operators who smuggled drugs across the Adriatic to the southern Italian region of Puglia. Thirty-seven people were arrested in Tuesday’s sting.