Skip to main content

Another Captagon bust in Saudi Arabia as drug war continues

The discovery of more than 3 million pills of the drug in Dammam on the Persian Gulf is at least the fourth bust in Saudi Arabia this year.
Officers of the Directorate of Narcotics Control of Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry sort through tablets of captagon.

Saudi authorities thwarted another attempt to smuggle Captagon into the kingdom today. 

The Zakat, Customs and Tax Authority said they found more than 3.7 million pills hidden in iron pillars in the port city Dammam on the Persian Gulf. Two people were arrested for allegedly participating in the drug shipment, according to a press release. 

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a major drug war fueled by a high degree of Captagon use by the population. Around 8% of Saudis have used amphetamines, heroin and other drugs, including many youth, according to one study. Captagon is a type of amphetamine. 

There have been numerous Captagon busts in Saudi Arabia this year, including the following:

Saudi authorities have also reported busts of unspecified amphetamines recently. Last week, the General Directorate of Narcotics Control arrested Saudi, Egyptian and Syrian citizens in relation to the smuggling of nearly 500,000 amphetamine pills hidden in machinery. 

Earlier this week, the Saudi Border Guard said they thwarted smuggling attempts of amphetamines, hashish and the chewable plant drug khat at both the northern and southern borders. 

Know more: Captagon is a major business throughout the Middle East, including in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

Text Alerts - Be the first to get breaking news, exclusives, and PRO content.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial