Egypt authorities seize 18 million narcotic pills at Alexandria port

Narcotics bust at a port in Alexandria. Photo: Ministry of Interior

Eighteen million narcotic pills were confiscated by Egyptian security forces at a port in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

A video showing police vehicles driving through the port was posted on the ministry’s official Facebook page on Monday. A statement said the drugs were found inside three large shipping containers.

The pills, whose value amounted to 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds, according to the ministry, arrived on a vessel whose documents claimed it was transporting calcium carbonate pills, a dietary supplement.

The shipment weighed about 34 tonnes and was packaged inside 56 parcels, the ministry said. They “arrived from a foreign port and were only on transit in Alexandria on their way to another foreign port”, the ministry said, without specifying which ports were involved.

The operation was accomplished by a combined effort involving the interior ministry, the National Security Authority, the Anti Narcotics General Administration and Alexandria Port security.

The ministry’s statement did not specify the type of the narcotic but said they were substances that “affect users’ psychological state and nervous system”.

Security officials also arrested eight men of various nationalities belonging to the crew of the ship. In their possession, security officials also found four laptops, one GPS device, 10 mobile phones and an undisclosed amount of cash.

“When confronted with the containers’ contents they admitted to what our investigations revealed,” the ministry said.

Further investigations are under way and the legal action will be taken against the crew, police said.