Drugs found in At­tica lab ‘des­tined for Mid­dle East’

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Large quan­ti­ties of the syn­thetic drug fenethylline which were found in a makeshift lab­o­ra­tory near Elef­sina, west of Athens, last week, had been des­tined to be smug­gled to the Mid­dle East, it emerged yes­ter­day. Also known by its brand name, Cap­tagon, the stim­u­lant is be­lieved to be widely used for recre­ational pur­poses in the Mid­dle East and by fight­ers in Syria to keep them alert.

Pre­sent­ing de­tails about the dis­cov­ery of the 635,000 fenethylline pills, the head of the Fi­nan­cial Crimes Unit (SDOE), Stavros Thomadakis, said the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween SDOE, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Greek Po­lice had borne fruit de­spite ma­jor belt-tight­en­ing im­posed by Greece’s cred­i­tors. “If the ex­am­ple is spread across the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion, we will see a com­plete re­ver­sal of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion,” he said. “I feel the need to shout out ‘We’re still alive,’” he added. “The tech­ni­cal teams that are in the coun­try and shrunk SDOE must lis­ten to us.”

A cus­tom-made speed­boat with hid­den com­part­ments, which was con­fis­cated last week, would have been used to trans­fer the pills to Turkey and from there to the Mid­dle East, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

Fenethylline was used in the 1960s-80s to treat At­ten­tion Deficit Hyper­ac­tiv­ity Dis­or­der, nar­colepsy and de­pres­sion but was with­drawn due to its side ef­fects.

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