That is the question I had before and again now when I read the AL Monitor article (at https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2023/04/saudi-arabia-seizes-127-million-captagon-pills-pomegranate-bust). There we see ‘Saudi Arabia seizes 12.7 million Captagon pills in pomegranate bust’. Now any nation will have drug problems, it is almost a fact of life. Some will give in and try it. But consider that the population of Saudi Arabia is almost 36 million. As such this shipment represents the ability to get a third of the nation high. And it leaves me with questions. Did these people want to get caught? Consider the simple setting. When you are dopey the dealer, you might be able to sell 100-200 pills at best. Perhaps in some areas of Aramco, near the monotone drilling (a pure speculation from me) perhaps 400 pills. To get that much pills implies a distribution system with 31,750 dealers. I know too little about Saudi Arabia to make that call, but if we adhere to statistics then the idea that Saudi Arabia has more than 500 dealers is almost preposterous and when consider the numbers something does not add up. So are these drug smugglers looking to get arrested? I reckon that it might be decently easy to hide 1000 pills in a pomegranate shipment, perhaps even 2000-3000, but twelve million? So I had questions and this is not the first time I see an article pass by like that, I had questions then too, but to be honest, this is a niche market I absolutely do not care about. So we see that two Egyptians, one Syrian and one Yemeni national were arrested. Four people from different nations (more questions) and as such they ‘thought’ to strike it rich? As such we get more “The highly addictive substance travels through Jordan to reach Gulf states, where it has been a drug of choice among disenfranchised youth, particularly in Saudi Arabia.” This gives us more, you see some numbers give us that this group contains 4.79 Million people, yet drug users tend to be male, so it is merely 50% of that and they ship enough to cover 100% of that group many times over? This makes zero sense, yet the idea that someone is TRYING to create a drug problem in Saudi Arabia, that partially makes sense (but the shipment is at least 1000% too big), yet that is also speculation from me. Moreover when you consider the setting, optionally smuggling via Yemen instead of Jordan makes more sense to me. There are a whole range of questions that shape in my head, but they are all related to the first premise, what is the actual plan here, because this is not an approach that any drug dealer would go for. To keep 3-5 years of evidence somewhere in their place of ‘trust’? The article also gives us “In March, Saudi Arabia seized 4.6 million amphetamine pills hidden in a shipment of ceramic toilets, sinks and washbasins and arrested a Jordanian national.” I seemingly more discrete amount, but still way above the normal amount. I wonder if they are also investigating in Saudi Arabia what the plan was of these four dopes, because this is not about a simple drug heist, this much amphetamines implies a very different stage and I can only speculate (which I will not do) on what that plan is, but consider the cost of these pills, the cost to create and what kind of incomes these 4 people had. When you add the elements up you come to the same conclusion as I did. This was about something else. Perhaps the drugs were a diversion? When you go back to some sources, one gave me “One Chinese website even advertises a “captagon tablet press” for $2,500 that can spew out tens of thousands of pills an hour. For a few dollars” this comes with the added question of the cost of the chemicals and the added source gives me “A Captagon pill costs just a few cents to produce in Syria or Lebanon” then consider that the maker would charge perhaps $0.50 per pill, that implies that the shipment represented a little more than $6,000,000. So where did these four dopey’s get that much money? And that is on the premise I hold, should the cost be $1 per pill (seems more likely) especially when the implied street value in Saudi Arabia is $20, the cost marker shifts buy a lot, so is one of these 4 wealthy? I personally doubt it.
Yet when you consider these elements the entire shipment of over 12 million pills makes less and less sense. This was not a simple drug shipment, or a simple smuggling operation. This is about something more and I wonder what I would find if I start data mining that evidence. From smuggling routes to financial data and that is before we consider that Saudi Arabia starts asking questions from the Syrian or Lebanese governments, they both would be in serious hot waters if they were in any way aiding drug smuggle into Saudi Arabia and still the largest question remains open: “Why that much drugs?” I end with a lot more questions than I had before the article and I reckon some Saudi’s might have the very same questions.