Greek authorities: Captagon seized in Attica was destined for Middle East and linked to ISIS

The drugs seized during a raid on an illegal Captagon lab in Attica last week were destined to be sent to countries in the Middle East, including Syria, based on information regarding the case presented at the SDOE financial crimes squad headquarters on Monday.

The presentation was carried out by SDOE Special Secretary Stavros Thomadakis, Attica Security Police Directorate commander Christos Papazafyris and representatives of the Coast Guard, on behalf of all three Greek law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. They announced four arrests in total – of two Albanian nationals, one Turkish national and one Greek – and said that another three individuals – a Turk, an Albanian and a retired Greek police officer – are wanted in connection with the case.

According to investigators the case is linked to ISIS since Captagon is the “drug of choice” used by the terrorist organisation. The amphetamine-like substance is given to jihadi fighters to make them ruthless, remorseless, more physically resilient and unafraid.

The 635,000 Captagon tablets seized during last week’s raid on the drug lab in Nea Peramos represent the largest quantity of narcotic pills ever seized in the Greek market. Based on the substances found during the raid, it is estimated that the lab had the capacity to produce another batch of similar size.

The bust followed a three-month stake out and investigation carried out by the SDOE drugs’ squad in collaboration with the coast guard and the Hellenic Police, following the individuals involved. Greek authorities were tipped off about the international ring’s action by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, leading to an unprecedented case by Greek standards.

Greek authorities are now also investigating whether any of the drugs were sold on the Greek market, while the street value is estimated at about 10 million euros, with each tablet costing 20 euros.

The illegal lab was found in a house in the Loutropyrgos area in Nea Peramos, where authorities also found a truck with an ingeniously devised secret compartment for concealing the pills, used to transport the drugs to the Attica region of Koropi. This was where the organisation had moored a speed boat with two powerful 500-horsepower outboard motors, capable of reaching speeds of up to 70 miles an hour. Investigators believe the drugs were transferred to the speedboat for transportation to Turkey and from there to countries in the Middle East.

In addition to the truck and speedboat, authorities seized five kilos of cannabis, chemical substances combined with amphetamine to manufacture the Captagon tablets, a rifle, a shot gun, two pistols, shells, 6000 euros in cash, five cars and sets of precision scales. They also found documents belonging to persons involved in the case that will be further investigated by Greek and international authorities.

Thomadakis said the bust was a major success indicating a culture of cooperation between the SDOE, coast guard and Greek police.

“If their example were to become widespread throughout public administration there would be a complete reversal of the current situation,” he commented, while also sending a message to the troika technical teams that had cut SDOE’s staff and resources.

“The major success of the country’s prosecuting authorities has attracted international interest. I
want to send a message fo the EU member-state governments: Greece is a unique pillar of stability in the region. It is necessary to further protect our country through an immediate completion of the review. And for this to happen, the member-state governments must become partners,” he said.