Lebanon News

Customs announces major drug bust

This picture released by the ISF shows the seized captagon pills, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/ISF, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanese Customs confiscated thousands of Captagon pills ready for export and large quantities of rotten food, the result of a two-month probe, it announced Tuesday.

On April 14, 400,000 Captagon pills were found hidden inside agricultural equipment awaiting export to Saudi Arabia, according to a statement released by customs.

The pills weighed about 74 kilograms and were worth some $4 million, the statement added. They were submitted to the Anti-Drug Bureau, and those involved in the operation have been arrested, among them a Syrian identified as M.H.F.

A security forces statement also said authorities raided a warehouse in Tripoli Saturday and confiscated 160,000 Captagon pills worth up to $3 million. Four Lebanese nationals were arrested.

Customs also found a large quantity of rotten food meant for consumers in a pick-up truck in Tripoli last week with stamps used to alter the expiry date.

Customs personnel were then able to raid the warehouse storing the expired food, and confiscated more foodstuffs and the equipment used to change the dates, the statement said.

The perpetrators, all of them Syrian nationals, were also arrested.

The two cases were not made public at the time of arrest in order to protect the integrity of the investigations, the statement said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 21, 2014, on page 4.




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