Omani authorities successfully apprehended an international drug smuggling network, confiscating over six million Captagon pills, according to a statement by the Royal Oman Police on Thursday.
The network, known for smuggling narcotics and psychotropic substances using land and sea routes hidden within shipments, was under surveillance by law enforcement agencies, the statement noted.
The successful bust, executed in collaboration with Saudi authorities, led to the seizure of the ready-for-smuggling Captagon pills stored in warehouses. This operation underscores Captagon’s status as the most commonly used narcotic in the Middle East.
Incepted in 1961 as a substitute for amphetamines and methamphetamines, Captagon was initially used as a treatment for disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and, less frequently, depression. However, it failed to secure regulatory approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
After concerns about its highly addictive nature began to outweigh its clinical benefits, Captagon was classified as a controlled substance in 1981. By 1986, the drug’s production had been banned in nearly all countries, but illicit production persisted.