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Published On: Thu, May 11th, 2017

Painkillers worth $75 million sent from India to be sold to IS terrorists seized by Italian Police

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riverLONDON : The Italy Police has confiscated 37.5 million pills of drug, tramadol, used by Islamist fighters.Tramadol is a synthetic opioid-like drug used as a painkiller.The cargo, which was heading for Libya, had come from India.
Meanwhile, Italy’s financial police revealed this week that they had uncovered 37.5 million pills of another drug — tramadol — also used by Islamist fighters, BBC reported. The cargo was heading for Libya. Tramadol is a synthetic opioid-like drug used as a painkiller.

Italian police said the consignment would have been used for two purposes — to help finance Islamist terrorism and for use by jihadist fighters as a stimulant and to heighten resistance to physical stress.Abuse of tramadol was described by a report this year as “rampant” in the ranks of Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria and to have played a role in “enabling atrocities on both sides of the conflict”.In March, Greek police arrested four suspects in a fake Captagon-making ring and confiscated 650,000 tablets.

According to media reports, the pills were to be sold to Islamic State terrorists in Libya to give them greater resilience.The 37 million tramadol pills, worth USD 75 million, were found packed into three containers at the port of Genoa, labelled as blankets and shampoo and set to be loaded on a freighter bound for Misrata and Tobruk in Libya, news agency PTI quoted The Times as saying.

“ISIS is making a fortune from this traffic, giving it to its fighters to make them feel no pain,” the British newspaper quoted an Italian investigator as saying.The Italian Police said the consignment had come from India and would have been used for two purposes: to help finance Islamist terrorism and for use by jihadist fighters as a stimulant and to heighten resistance to physical stress, the BBC reported.

Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror group, is said to feed child soldiers dates stuffed with tramadol before sending them on missions. ISIS is already known for feeding its fighters Captagon, an amphetamine that blocks hunger, fear and fatigue.
Italian investigators traced the tramadol shipment to an Indian pharmaceuticals company, which allegedly sold the pills for USD 250,000 to a Dubai-based importer, which then shipped them from India to Sri Lanka where they disappeared from the freighter’s documents, the report said.The tramadol pills would sell for two dollars each in Libya, said the investigator.
Last year, police at the Greek port of Piraeus found a container carrying 26 million tramadol tablets, originally from India and allegedly destined for a Libyan company with ties to ISIS, the report said.
Dutch police were searching for two suspects after a drugs laboratory was found with a large stash of pills favoured by jihadists, a media report said.During a raid on April 5 in Brunssum, a drug lab was discovered hidden in a barn.
Pills with the logo of Captagon and raw materials, as well as a machine for making tablets were found. In a neighbouring house, three firearms were also discovered, Efe news reported on Wednesday. Police officials said they do not know if the pills were destined for the Middle East.

“The occupant of the neighbouring house, a 40-year-old man, was arrested on April 11. His 39-year-old girlfriend was arrested on May 8. Just before the raid two men fled,” police said. The investigation is still underway to identify the two men,” said police officials.
Analysis by the Netherlands Forensic Institute found that the seized pills contain two ingredients, amphetamine and caffeine. “The pills were of a type used as a stimulant in the Middle East but it was not known if that was their destination,” said police.
Captagon is a popular drug among combatant groups in the Middle East, where it is used as an “upper” to keep fighters awake and alert. It is the first time this sort of pill has been found in The Netherlands, reported Dutch daily Telegraaf.–IANS

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