Lebanon’s security forces stopped an effort to import nine million illicit amphetamine Captagon tablets to an undisclosed Gulf nation, according to sources.
On Wednesday, Lebanese customs stated that they had detained several suspects and launched a judicial inquiry into a conspiracy to smuggle the tablets out of Lebanon after officers discovered them in a shipment of plastic oranges at the Port of Beirut.
Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, later that day, told reporters that he was unable to disclose details about who had been arrested and what they knew about the operation thus far. However, he said that the probe will show where the pills were manufactured and packed, as well as who concealed them in the shipment of fruits.
He announced, “We assure our people and all friendly nations, particularly the Gulf states, that the Lebanese authorities are serious about combating Captagon smuggling.”
The Captagon shipment was destined for Kuwait, according to sources familiar with the case.
The seizure comes as Lebanon attempts to mend fences with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
An indefinite embargo was declared by Saudi Arabia on Lebanese agricultural goods in April, claiming to have foiled an effort to import 5.3 million Captagon tablets concealed in a cargo of pomegranates at Jeddah port.
Saudi officials have already revealed the arrest of multiple shipments from Lebanon and Syria carrying millions of Captagon tablets.