Published: 2023-10-01 23:34
Last Updated: 2023-11-28 19:29
Jordan's Interior Minister, Mazen Al-Faraya, has voiced his concerns over the increased flow of narcotics into Jordan, a result of the Syrian crisis casting its shadow over the northern borders.
Faraya emphasized that only one side of the 378-kilometer Jordanian-Syrian border is controlled, highlighting that ongoing discussions with the Syrian side regarding cooperation and coordination in combating drug trafficking are in progress.
He also stated that they respond to the best of their abilities, describing Syria's capacity to control its borders as "minimal."
Protecting Jordanian citizens and territory remains a top priority for Faraya.
He emphasized the country's clear stance on safeguarding its lands and citizens while retaining the right to protect its borders in accordance with rules of engagement and international laws.
Faraya stated, "Every truck coming from Syria through the Jaber border crossing is presumed to be carrying drugs until proven otherwise."
He pointed out the use of sophisticated methods in drug smuggling, including drones and concealing drugs in vehicles using various techniques, as well as hiding them in specific types of fruits and vegetables, which is a highly concerning development.
Faraya added that 80 percent of the drugs seized in Jordan are intended for export abroad, with many of the drugs intercepted on the Kingdom's borders with Syria and Saudi Arabia destined for the Arabian Gulf.
He also mentioned that 10 trucks carrying narcotics with license plates from Gulf countries were seized in 2022 and 2023, along with vehicles carrying Syrian and Jordanian license plates, all headed for transit to Gulf countries.
Faraya revealed that drug-related cases in Jordan have increased by 22 percent in the current year of 2023, reaching 16,000 cases.
Cases of drug trafficking and distribution have surged by 34 percent, while drug usage cases have risen by 16 percent.
He confirmed that law enforcement agencies have apprehended 24,000 individuals in drug-related cases since the beginning of the current year.
These were the first official assertions following related press leaks by the Interior Minister, which came days after the king vowed to fend back infiltration attempts.
Just a few days ago, His Majesty met with several figures, including the former minister and retired General Dr. Abdul Latif Wreikat, former Director-General of Royal Medical Services.
During the meeting, he discussed the key challenges facing the northern borders and emphasized that his speech at the United Nations regarding the Syrian issue and events in the southern regions served as a "warning to the world."