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On the 27th of July, the Global Initiative invited to an expert roundtable in Beirut, Lebanon.

The intense discussion resulted in an agreement that not enough attention is being paid to captagon and highlight its incredible profitability. The group of participants concluded that until the primary destination markets (i.e. the Gulf) wanted to seriously end the trafficking, there would be little that can meaningfully be done.

This event featured presentations by:

  • Jeremy Arbid, report’s author, and journalist, Executive Magazine
  • Tuesday Reitano, Deputy Director, GITOC
  • Shanaka Jayasekara from the UNODC

Captured by Captagon? Lebanon’s evolving illicit drug economy

This report highlights a worrying trend of rising captagon production and trafficking
through Lebanon.

The author, Jeremy Arbid, interviewed numerous actors in Lebanon exploring the
evolution of Lebanon’s drug trade, and in particular the production and trafficking of
Captagon. Captagon – in the past years demonized as a war drug for ISIS zombie
warriors by several news outlets – is an amphetamine and popular party pill widely
used throughout the Gulf countries. Evidence presented in an earlier Global
Initiative report, “The Nexus of Drug Trafficking and Conflict in Syria and the Wider
Region” suggests that the trade in Captagon is burgeoning, with much of the
production in Syria and its neighboring countries.