AMMAN — Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) agents on Monday foiled an attempt to smuggle 28,000 Captagon pills hidden in Arab cookies to a neighbouring country, an official source said.

Officers at a border crossing received a tip that an Arab national was planning to smuggle a large quantity of narcotics into Jordan then take it to a neighbouring country, the source said.

“AND agents tracked down the suspect and seized the pills, which were hidden in hundreds of mamouls [date-stuffed cookies],” the source added.

“The suspect was referred to the State Security Court prosecution for questioning,” he told The Jordan Times.

The official noted that this was “a new and creative method to smuggle drugs”, adding that AND agents’ experience in uncovering and foiling smuggling operations helped them thwart this attempt.

In 2011, some nine million Captagon pills were seized at various border crossings and airports, according to official figures.

Captagon (fenethylline) is a synthetic stimulant similar to amphetamine. Although banned in most countries in the 1980s, illegally produced and smuggled Captagon — sometimes containing amphetamine instead of fenethylline — is a common drug of abuse in the Middle East, according to web sources.

Also Monday, the Jordan Customs Department (JCD) thwarted an attempt to smuggle contraband and weapons through the Wadi Yutum Customs Crossing near Aqaba, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The JCD seized a 7mm calibre pistol and a 9mm calibre pistol as well as cigarettes, alcohol and spare car parts, Petra reported.