BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Policeman arrested for smuggling chemical-filled sandwiches

Lebanese policemen stand guard outside of the court ahead of the trials for Islamist prisoners arrested for alleged involvement in the Nahr al-Bared clashes, in Roumieh, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Roumieh prison wardens arrested a Lebanese police officer Thursday for trying to smuggle sandwiches filled with a chemical substance destined for a Fatah al-Islam prisoner into the detention center.

A security source told The Daily Star that the policeman, a member of a police unit in charge of Roumieh, was searched at Lebanon’s biggest prison north of Beirut after drawing suspicion.

The source added that when the sandwiches were opened, the wardens were surprised to find a chemical substance which the source identified by its French name “carbure.”

The police officer told investigators he was going to deliver the sandwiches to prisoner Charbel Shalitta, who faces the death penalty for killing a young Lebanese man in Halat, north of Beirut, last year.

When summoned by investigators, Shalitta admitted he was smuggling the substance to a leader of Fatah al-Islam prisoners at Roumieh.

But Shalitta claimed that he only carried out the leader’s order to protect himself given that he is a Christian imprisoned among the Islamists of Fatah al-Islam.

The chemical Carbure is used in welding and sometimes as a fuel for heating homes. It may also be used as a component in making explosives.

 

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