Experts Anticipate Drop in Drug Related Crimes as Syrian Army Retakes Border

AMMAN —AlGhad— Security experts anticipate a decline in drug related criminal activities over the next few months, drug trafficking and smuggling above all, as the Syrian army retakes the southern areas along the border with Jordan.

Anti-Narcotics and security specialists expect a radical fall in the overall number of drug related cases, by approximately 70 per cent.

One high ranking Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) officer at least agrees

According to one ranking Anti-Narcotics officer, the year 2010 has seen 3,400 drug related cases, ranging from abuse to possession, trafficking and importation.

Since the break of the Syrian crisis, drug related criminal activity has almost quadrupled in 2017, to 13,900 cases, he confirmed, speaking under the condition of anonymity.

The costs of securing Jordan’s borders on both sides have skyrocketed since the Syria crisis began, he said.

Even though the decline is expected to be remarkable, it will —however— be gradual, retired Maj Gen Mahmoud Abu Jomaa noted. As the tighter security and border control measures will take time to reflect internally on the narcotics crime scene, he explained, not to mention that the Syrian army has yet to secure the entire border.

Smugglers have built their grids and channels across the border, he confirmed, and they are definitely in bed with the terrorists, who usually in return for cash or alternative funding provide protection for the smugglers cargo in transit.

The presence of an official, regular army that is bound by border treaties with Jordan will certainly help control the border situation and lighten the burden on our military, he added.

Meanwhile, retired Brig Gen Nayef Jaloudi thinks it will takes a lot more time for the smuggling rings to break down and reflect positively on the security situation domestically.

Even though it will be major, it will not be within months, he said, at least not the upcoming few ones.

The smugglers will go underground to reconcile new plans and grids, factoring in the return of the Syrian army, he warned. “They will develop their tools and connections, and they may even try to infiltrate the border and anti-narcotics authorities on both sides of the border.”

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