Tens of millions of amphetamine tablets, thought to be made by the terrorist group Islamic State, have been seized by Italian police.
Posting a video on its Twitter page, the Guardia di Finanza, a militarised police force which works for the Italian treasury, showed officers cutting through machinery to reveal the 84 million pills – thought to be worth more than €1bn (£910m).
The 14-tonne shipment of the drug imported from Syria, known as Captagon, was captured from three containers at the port of Salerno, in the south east of Italy, with police claiming it is the world’s biggest ever haul of amphetamines.
Captagon is a brand of amphetamine that is used by IS fighters to inhibit fear and prevent tiredness.
It was dubbed the “Jihadi drug” by authorities, which found large quantities of it stashed at the hideout of the terrorists behind the 2015 Paris attacks.
The Guardia di Finanza said that IS largely finances its terrorist activities by trafficking drugs made in Syria, adding that the country has become the world’s largest producer of amphetamines over the last few years.
Captagon, once a legitimate medical drug, is now mostly produced in the Middle East, from where it is distributed around the world.
According to Forbes, it is also thought that students sometimes use the drug to help with studying, fuelling the black-market demand for it.
Authorities in Italy believe that lockdown measures across Europe have meant that it cannot be produced and distributed on the continent, leading traffickers to import that drug from Syria.
Two weeks ago, police also seized almost three tonnes of hashish and around one million Captagon pills from the same port, where the shipment was hidden among clothing.
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