U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

03/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/29/2021 11:54

McCaul, Rogers Urge Biden Administration to Prioritize Counter-Narcotics Initiatives in Syria

Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, DC - Last week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) sent a letter to President Biden urging him to 'prioritize counter - narcotics initiatives in light of recent, significant seizures of amphetamines from Syria.'

'In the last two years, there have been multiple internationally publicized seizures of amphetamines from Syria at European ports,' Reps. McCaul and Rogers wrote. 'In July 2019, Greek authorities confiscated what was described at the time as the world's largest seizure of Captagon - 33 million pills worth over €580 million, which originated in Syria. In July 2020, Italian police eclipsed the Greek bust when they intercepted over 84 million Captagon tablets from Syria. The drugs were valued at over €1 billion. In September 2020, Romanian authorities seized 4 million Captagon bills, valued at €80 million, from a ship that had originated in Syria.'

The Syrian people have suffered immensely due to the cruel and destabilizing actions of numerous bad actors,' the lawmakers continued. 'Cutting off the flow of illicit income into the country, including through drug trafficking, will reduce the resources available to fuel further violence.'

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear President Biden,

As you set your Administration's policy regarding Syria, we urge you to prioritize counter - narcotics initiatives in light of recent, significant seizures of amphetamines from Syria.

In the last two years, there have been multiple internationally publicized seizures of amphetamines from Syria at European ports. In July 2019, Greek authorities confiscated what was described at the time as the world's largest seizure of Captagon - 33 million pills worth over €580 million, which originated in Syria. In July 2020, Italian police eclipsed the Greek bust when they intercepted over 84 million Captagon tablets from Syria. The drugs were valued at over €1 billion. In September 2020, Romanian authorities seized 4 million Captagon bills, valued at €80 million, from a ship that had originated in Syria.

The Syrian people have suffered immensely due to the cruel and destabilizing actions of numerous bad actors. Cutting off the flow of illicit income into the country, including through drug trafficking, will reduce the resources available to fuel further violence. We urge you to ensure that the United States is putting forward a coordinated diplomatic and law enforcement effort with our international partners to counter this threat.

We look forward to working with you to ensure you have the authorities and resources available to address this critical issue of concern as you set and implement your Syria policy.

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