Authorities in Saudi Arabia say they have seized 46 million amphetamine pills that were smuggled in a shipment of flour – a record for the kingdom.
Security forces tracked the shipment as it arrived at the Riyadh Dry Port and was taken to a warehouse, the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said.
Six Syrians and two Pakistanis were arrested in a raid on the warehouse.
The GDNC did not name the amphetamine, but Saudi Arabia is the largest market for tablets bearing the captagon logo.
Captagon – typically a mix of amphetamine, caffeine and various fillers – is reportedly one of the most popular drugs among affluent youths in the Gulf.
A 2021 Foreign Policy article cited researchers as saying that “boredom and social restrictions”, as well as easy availability, were driving the use of captagon in Saudi Arabia.
The drug has also been consumed by combatants in the civil war in Syria, who say it dims fear on the battlefield.
The global trade in captagon is growing rapidly and was worth an estimated $5.7bn (£4.9bn) last year, according to a recent New Lines Institute report.