In a shocking development, the Italian Police has seized 37 million units of painkillers worth USD 75 million that were made by an Indian company and was bound for the Islamic State terrorists, reports said on Thursday. As many as 37.5 million pills of a synthetic opioid-like drug called tramadol were sent from India and were to be sold to the ISIS terrorists in Libya, media reports have said.
According to reports, the Libya-bound cargo was sent from India and the painkillers were meant to be sold to the dreaded ISIS terrorists in order to provide them greater resilience.
The pills were packed in three containers that were recovered at the port of Genoa. Surprisingly, the packets were labelled as blankets and shampoo and were to be loaded on a freighter bound for Misrata and Tobruk in Libya, news agency PTI quoted The Times as saying.
"ISIS is making a fortune from this traffic, giving it to its fighters to make them feel no pain," the British newspaper quoted an Italian investigator as saying.
According to the Italian Police, the consignment was sent from India and there would have been two purposes of its use – to help finance terrorism and for use by the Islamic State fighters as a stimulant and to increase resistance to physical stress, the BBC reported.
It is said that the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram feeds child soldiers dates stuffed with tramadol and then send them on missions. It is well known fact that ISIS feeds its fighters Captagon which blocks hunger, fear and fatigue.
The tramadol shipment reportedly belonged to an Indian pharmaceuticals company, which allegedly sold the tablets for USD 250,000 to a Dubai-based importer, which then shipped them from India to Sri Lanka. From there, they disappeared from the freighter's documents, the report said. Reports said that the tramadol pills sell for two dollars each in Libya.
Last year, a container carrying 26 million tramadol tablets, originally from India and allegedly destined for a Libyan company with ties to ISIS were seized by police at the Greek port of Piraeus.