Painkillers worth $75 million from India bound for Libya seized by Italian police

London, United KingdomUpdated: May 11, 2017, 07:38 AM IST
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Representative image. Photograph:(AFP)

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The drug, Tramadol, is used as a painkiller||The consignment was meant for Libya ||A significant portion of the drug finds its way to the Islamic State terrorists in Libya, according to sources

The Italian police seized a massive quantity of tramadol pills, a synthetic opioid-like drug, from India which was headed for Libya, according to media reports.

A significant portion of the drug, used as a painkiller, finds its way to the Islamic State terrorists who are active in Libya, according to sources.

It is used by the Islamic State terrorists to build greater resilience. 

The pills, worth $75 million, were found packed in three containers at the port of Genoa and was labelled as blankets and shampoo.

The containers were set to be loaded on a freighter headed for Misrata and Tobruk in Libya, news agency PTI quoted a report in The Times.

"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.

Italian police said the consignment had come from India and would have been used for two purposes: to help finance Islamist terrorism and for use by jihadist fighters as a stimulant and to heighten resistance to physical stress, the BBC reported.

Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror group, is said to feed child soldiers dates stuffed with tramadol before sending them on missions.

ISIS is already known for feeding its fighters Captagon, an amphetamine that blocks hunger, fear and fatigue.

Italian investigators traced the tramadol shipment to an Indian pharmaceuticals company, which allegedly sold the pills for $250,000 to a Dubai-based importer, which then shipped them from India to Sri Lanka where they disappeared from the freighter's documents, the report said.