Rome: Italian police have seized a huge shipment of 14 tonnes of amphetamines produced by the ISIS in Syria.
Investigators said the bust is the largest drug haul in the world in terms of both value and quantity, CNN reported.
Officers tracked three suspect containers to the port of Salerno in southwest Italy and found 84 million pills with a market value of $AUD1.6 billion inside paper cylinders for industrial use, the Guardia di Finanza financial police said in a statement on Wednesday.
Commander Domenico Napolitano, head of the financial police for the city of Naples, told CNN that the drugs were well hidden and the scanners at the port didn’t detect them.
“We weren’t able to see them but we knew it was arriving because of our ongoing investigations we have with the Camorra (Italian organised crime group),” he said.
The pills carried the “Captagon” logo, which “distinguishes the ‘drug of Jihad,’” according to the statement.
“According to the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration), ISIS makes wide use of these drugs in all the territories over which it exerts influence and controls its sale.”
“The hypothesis is that during the lockdown, due to the global epidemiological emergency, the production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe has practically stopped and therefore many traffickers with different organised crime groups have turned to Syria, where it does not seem to have slowed down,” the police was quoted.
Brigadier General Gabriele Failla, head of the financial police in Naples and the surrounding province, told CNN that he believes a number of criminal groups may have banded together to buy the huge shipment.
“This is a remarkable evidence of the ‘nexus’ between terror financing and organised crime interests,” he added.