US, UK sanction Syrian leader Assad's cousins, others over drug trade

The United States on Tuesday imposed new sanctions against six people including two cousins of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for their role in the production or export of Captagon, a dangerous amphetamine, a Treasury Department statement said.

It said the trade in Captagon was estimated to be a billion-dollar enterprise and the sanctions highlight the role of Lebanese drug traffickers and the Assad family dominance of Captagon trafficking, which helped fund the Syrian government.

"Syria has become a global leader in the production of highly addictive Captagon, much of which is trafficked through Lebanon,” said Andrea M. Gacki, director of Treasury's office of Foreign Assets Control.

"With our allies, we will hold accountable those who support Bashar al-Assad’s regime with illicit drug revenue and other financial means that enable the regime’s continued repression of the Syrian people," she said.

 Britain also said on Tuesday it had added 11 designations under its Syrian sanctions regime.

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