Police in Italy found a record-breaking 15 tons of amphetamines worth $1.12 billion at an Italian port Wednesday they say were produced by terror group ISIS and were likely bound for distribution across Europe by organized crime groups.
According to investigators, 84 million pills of the drug Captagon inside industrial goods were found on board three container ships at Salerno’s port Wednesday.
Authorities told CNN they stopped and searched the ships after intercepting calls by a local organized crime group that expected the shipment.
Investigators said it is the largest drug bust in world history, in both physical size and street cost of the haul.
Police believe the drugs were meant for European distribution by multiple organized crime groups, and said the seized load was large enough to satisfy the entire continent’s appetite for the drug.
Captagon is a brand name for fenethylline hydrochloride, a stimulant originally developed to treat narcolepsy and depression that is popular in the Middle East, according to Reuters, that the Islamic State produces and sells to finance itself.
Captagon is known to give people who take it bursts of energy and has reportedly been taken by ISIS fighters themselves to “inhibit fear and pain,” according to a statement from investigators, coming to be known as the “Jihad drug.”
Just two weeks ago, police found a million Captagon capsules and more than 6,000 pounds of hashish being smuggled through the same port in Salerno. Authorities in Italy said they believe Covid-19 lockdowns throughout Europe have thrown a wrench into illegal drug production and distribution across the continent. Traffickers may have been forced to import drugs from Syria instead, they said, which is now the world’s top producer of amphetamines.