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EU targets Syrian chief’s household over amphetamine enterprise

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The European Union has slapped sanctions on a number of Syrians, together with members of President Bashar Assad’s household

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Monday slapped sanctions on a number of Syrians, together with members of President Bashar Assad’s household, accusing them of constructing and trafficking an amphetamine that enriches and helps to prop up the regime.

Asset freezes and journey bans had been imposed on 25 individuals and eight “entities” — most of them firms — at a gathering of EU international ministers in Luxembourg.

“The vast majority of right this moment’s designations goal people and entities answerable for the manufacturing and trafficking of narcotics, notably Captagon,” a press release mentioned.

“The commerce in amphetamine has grow to be a regime-led enterprise mannequin, enriching the interior circle of the regime and offering it with income that contributes to its potential to take care of its insurance policies of repression in opposition to the civilian inhabitants,” it added.

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Specialists say Captagon is primarily produced in Syria and neighboring Lebanon, the place packages containing tens of millions of drugs are smuggled into Gulf international locations, Europe and elsewhere.

The commerce allegedly has robust ties to Assad and his associates, in addition to the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon, a key ally.

In line with British estimates, the Captagon business is value $57 billion to Assad, and has been a significant income with Syria’s battle now in its thirteenth 12 months. Assad’s brutal crackdown on protests in 2011 led to his world isolation. His forces had been accused of torture, bombing civilian infrastructure, and utilizing chemical weapons with assist of allies Russia and Iran.

The EU additionally imposed sanctions on personal safety firms working in Syria and other people working for them. “These firms additionally act as shell firms for regime-affiliated militias and assist them although actions such because the recruitment of members,” the assertion mentioned.

The bloc’s Syria sanctions now embrace 322 individuals and 81 entities.

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