Rampant narcotics business | Captagon and hash sold  publicly  in Damascus • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Rampant narcotics business | Captagon and hash sold  publicly  in Damascus

As regime authorities are still unable to deal with chronic crises such as economic hardship, lack of job opportunities, inflation, acute shortage of fuel and bread, poor transportation service and electricity blackouts, illicit pills and “hashish” have become readily available and are sold in public in areas under the control of the Syrian regime and its proxy militias, Damascus in particular.

 

According to SOHR activists, residents in Damascus have been concerned over this phenomenon, the selling of narcotics in public, as it has become so easy for their sons to get Captagon and hash, with such substances being readily available in stalls selling tobacco, cigarettes and coffee. These stalls are prevalent in almost all streets of the capital, Damascus, while their owners are informants affiliated with the regime’s security services or individuals who have been backed by regime officers before the start of the “Syrian revolution”. The owners of these stalls had sold cigarettes and snacks, before they turned to narcotics business, as hashish illicit pills are sold in public in many neighbourhoods and districts in Damascus and Rif Dimashq like Kafr Susah, al-Mazzah, Bab Serijah, the Old Damascus, Bab Touma, al-Sha’laan al-Baramekah and Jisr al-Ra’ees.

 

Moreover, dealers are everywhere in residential neighbourhoods, crowded areas and at bus stations where they sell drugs to passengers with no workable procedures adopted to prosecute them. Sometimes, regime security services launch symbolic patrols for minutes during which the dealers hide or change their places. On some occasions, dealers are arrested during their patrols, but they could be freed after paying bribes reached to 20,000 SYL to a patrol’s members.

 

 

How are Captagon and hashish delivered to dealers in Damascus?

 

According to reliable SOHR sources, most of narcotics obtained by the dealers and stalls’ owners in Damascus are delivered by members working for the National Defence Forces (NDF) and individuals having strong ties with regime officers. It is worth noting that the sources of illicit pills are the factories which are prevalent in areas on the Syria-Lebanon border. While hashish is brought from Lebanon by individuals affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah, before it is distributed to regime and NDF officers and commanders who sell and deliver it to their affiliates.

 

Accordingly, narcotics trafficking has been turned into business run by influential figures, including regime officers and Hezbollah commanders. For years, smuggling operations in Syria have been in progress whether by sea through Tartus harbour which is dominated by the Russians and Latakia harbour a share of which possessed by Iran, or by land along the border strip with Iraq and with Lebanon where the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias have imposed their influence almost completely.

 

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, have been all along warned against the disastrous situation in Syria with the Syrian regime adhering only to power, disregarding the sufferings of the Syrian people. The Syrian Observatory would like to point out to the threats posed by the prevalence of drugs across the entire Syrian geography, particularly regime-held areas. We also renew our appeal to the international community not to abandon their responsibility and obligations to finding a lasting solution to the tragedy of millions of Syrians.

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