Lebanon foils large drug smuggling operation to Saudi Arabia

"Millions of Captagon pills that were seized were destined to the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia," caretaker Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi said

  
Drug Trafficking. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Drug Trafficking. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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BEIRUT: Lebanon foiled Friday an attempt to smuggle millions of amphetamine pills hidden in a shipping container at Beirut Port destined to Saudi Arabia, officials said.

"Millions of Captagon pills that were seized were destined to the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia," caretaker Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi told reporters at Beirut Port after Customs officers found the drugs in a container carrying rocks for export.

"I ask all countries to trust Lebanon like they used to," Fahmi added. "I call on all Lebanese to cooperate with the Lebanese authorities to rebuild trust in their country."

Saudi Arabia announced in April a ban on imports of fruits and vegetables from Lebanon, citing an increase in drug smuggling, a measure that added to Lebanon's economic woes. The fruit and vegetables trade is worth close to $40 million annually.

The ban was announced after Saudi customs authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle in more than 5.3 million Captagon pills, a type of amphetamine, hidden in a pomegranate shipment from Lebanon.

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