The American Coalition for Syria is pleased to announce the successful passage of the Illicit Captagon Trafficking Suppression Act (HR 4681) by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, with a vote of 44 to 0. This crucial bipartisan legislation marks a significant step towards addressing the illicit production and international proliferation of the amphetamine drug captagon, which nets the Assad regime billions in profits.
ACS extends its gratitude to the architects of this legislation, Reps. French Hill (R-Ark). and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), who have taken a stand against Bashar al-Assad's profiteering from the lethal drug, thereby transforming Syria into a narco-state and destabilizing the entire region. ACS also appreciates Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) for his prompt attention to HR 4681 since its introduction in July 2023. This bipartisan effort demonstrates a commitment among both Democrats and Republicans to addressing the urgent and complex challenges posed by illicit drug trafficking in the Middle East.
ACS eagerly anticipates the bill's consideration on the House floor, recognizing it as a vital legislative initiative to combat the dangerous repercussions of Assad’s captagon trafficking.
Details about HR 4681:
HR 4681 mandates the imposition of U.S. sanctions on any foreign individuals or entities that the President determines are:
When enacted, this bill would authorize the U.S. President to target the wider commercial networks that play a critical role in the production and proliferation of captagon, from the actors that source the raw materials and equipment used to produce captagon to those that help transport captagon from Syria and Lebanon to around the world or that facilitate the laundering of profits from this illicit trade.
Additionally, the bill outlines a Statement of Policy for the U.S. to strategically target individuals, entities, and networks associated with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in order to dismantle and degrade the transnational criminal organizations and trafficking networks linked to the regime and Hezbollah. In that vein, the bill names eight individuals and requires the President to determine whether they should be sanctioned under this new Act within 180 days after its enactment. The individuals are Maher Al Assad, Imad Abu Zureiq, Amer Taysir Khiti, Taher al-Kayyali, Raji Falhout, Mohammed Asif Issa Shalish, Abdellatif Hamid (a Syrian national), and Mustafa Al Masalmeh.