Lebanon thwarts attempt to smuggle drugs to Saudi Arabia
Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle huge quantities of Captagon pills in a coffee shipment that was heading to Saudi Arabia through Jordan, it announced Saturday.
“The information division in the Internal Security Forces received a tipoff on the preparation of this smuggling operation,” it said. “Through its investigative procedures, the special forces identified all the members of the smuggling network, including W. A. (born in 1973, Lebanese) and M. H. (born in 1962, Syrian). It appears that the Lebanese smuggler has been previously convicted, as he was detained for smuggling Captagon pills to the Kingdom and was released around a year ago. Orders were given to monitor and detain the network’s members and raid the warehouse where the Captagon was hidden.”
The ISF said that, on Dec. 4, 5 and 8, special forces raided a warehouse in Bir Hassan, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and found 4 million Captagon pills in a shipment of coffee bags that were ready for transportation.
“The first smuggler was detained during his attempt to flee Lebanon to Turkey. A division’s patrol was able to detain the Syrian smuggler in Aramoun, south of Beirut. Upon investigation, they confessed to the crime. The first smuggler said he was in charge of transporting the shipment and keeping it in a safe place.”
Last month, the statement added, security forces thwarted the smuggling of 1.5 million Captagon pills hidden in the base of wooden pallets that had been prepared for export through Beirut. One of the smugglers was detained.
Lebanon’s Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said at the start of the week that he was “following up on the border procedures implemented to combat smuggling.”
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have cut diplomatic and economic ties with Lebanon until “comprehensive reforms are implemented and Lebanon is no longer the source of any terrorist acts and drug scourge that threaten the integrity of the region and the world.”