In coordination with the United States, the United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on eleven individuals involved in the production and sale of captagon, a highly addictive amphetamine, to support the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria. According to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, captagon sales are worth as much as three times the combined trade of Mexican drug cartels, and constitute an important source of income to the al Assad regime.
The travel bans and assets freezes are imposed pursuant to the Syria (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/972).
Those sanctioned include militia leaders linked to captagon production, drug smuggling, violent crime, and politically motivated kidnapping and assassination; businessmen whose factories, distribution networks and shipping enterprises are used in captagon trade, and; senior regime officials, military leaders and politically connected people whose facilitation and protection illicit drug trade supports Hizbollah and the Syrian regime.