A blow to the Lebanese food industry after Riyadh’s decision to ban the importation of all types of food originating from the Land of the Cedars. This measure already follows that, 2 weeks ago, taken by the Kingdom to ban the import of fruits and vegetables due to the discovery of cargo of large quantities of drugs.

This decision comes at a time when the Lebanese authorities have nevertheless undertaken to try to better control the flow of banned substances. The outgoing government has instructed Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi to negotiate the resumption of imports of fruit and vegetables at the start of last week. However, today it seems that this mission has failed.

Lebanese customs often intercept captagon shipments destined for the Saudi Kingdom. February was marked by the seizure of 5 million pills of this substance in a shipment of pomegranates. However, local sources indicate that the export certificates were allegedly forged and that this merchandise was in fact originating in Syria.

The production of captagon, a kind of amphetamine, has indeed spread to Lebanon, Iraq and especially Syria, thanks to the Syrian civil war. It thus allowed the belligerents and in particular Daesh, had indicated the American authorities who had succeeded in seizing in 2016 nearly 300,000 pills worth 1.4 million dollars, on the one hand to keep their men in a daze during the fighting but also to have access to sources of financing via its export to the Gulf States and the Arabian Peninsula.

Thus, a Saudi emir, then 29 years old, Prince Abdel Mohsen was arrested on October 26, 2015 at Beirut international airport. he was then trying to leave Lebanon via a private plane with 1900 kilograms of Captagon , a drug produced in very large quantities in Syria, for an estimated value of 250 million dollars at the time. This individual was sentenced by the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeal on March 27, 2019, then released with a travel ban on April 26, 2020, at the end of his sentence. On July 21, 2020, the same day therefore, the Beirut Attorney General of Appeal lifted the aforementioned emir’s travel ban. The Saudi national has since left Lebanon on July 24, 2020.

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