BEIRUT: Lebanon has detained two brothers suspected of being involved in a foiled attempt to smuggle amphetamines into Saudi Arabia that prompted the Saudi authorities to impose a ban on importing Lebanese produce, the caretaker government said on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia announced the ban on April 23 after the discovery of 5.3 million Captagon pills, a type of amphetamine, hidden in pomegranate shipments from Lebanon.
The measure compounds Lebanon’s severe economic problems.
Interior minister in the caretaker government, Mohamed Fahmy, was speaking in an interview with Lebanon’s MTV broadcaster during a tour of the border area from the north to the Bekaa valley where there is rampant smuggling across the border with Syria, of goods from drugs to fuel and subsidised food.
“We have uncovered those complicit and a follow-up of the case is ongoing,” Fahmy said.
Lebanon was in contact with Saudi authorities on the course of the investigations.
Saudi Arabia bans fruits, vegetables from Lebanon after drug bustsLebanon, Israel expected to resume talks on maritime border next week