Saudi authorities seize 451,807 drug tablets coming from Hezbollah in Lebanon

Drugs

The Arab News reported according to the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi authorities announced early Thursday the capture of a major Hezbollah drugs shipment.

According to the Arab News, the shipment, which included 451,807 amphetamine tablets and was destined for Saudi Arabia, was intercepted by Nigerian authorities.

It said, the tablets were concealed in mechanical parts which were being transported by sea from Lebanon.

Col. Talal Chalhoub, interior ministry spokesperson, said that one of the “drug production and smuggling networks” of Hezbollah was behind the attempt.

He said: “The shipment was seized in coordination with our counterparts in Nigeria before the network had the chance to ship it to another country.”

According to the Arab News, Chalhoub praised the cooperation with the Nigerian Interior Ministry in apprehending the drugs.

He said: “The Kingdom will continue to monitor the criminal activities that target the Kingdom’s security and youth with drugs, counter and thwart them and arrest all those involved in such activities.”

The Arab News mentioned that in April, Saudi Arabia banned the import and transit of fruit and vegetables from Lebanon after authorities seized large quantities of Captagon pills that were hidden in a pomegranate consignment.

It noted that customs authorities at Jeddah Islamic Port seized more than 7.8 million pills.

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The pomegranate shipment entered Lebanon in stages through the Masnaa border crossing with Syria before it was transported to Saudi Arabia, a Lebanese customs source told Arab News in April.

The source said that Gulf states had long complained of drug smuggling operations to their territories from Syria via Lebanon.

The Arab News added that earlier in April, Greek authorities seized more than four tons of cannabis hidden in a shipment of dessert-making machines heading from Lebanon to Slovakia in the country’s main port of Piraeus, following a tip from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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Greece’s authorities said that the street value of the drugs was estimated at $4 million and that Saudi Arabia’s drug enforcement agency assisted them in the case.

It should be noted that in 2018, the US State Department named Hezbollah among the top five global criminal organizations. Reports indicate that Hezbollah’s criminal operations have increased of late in response to Iranian directives to generate income as part of its efforts to dodge US sanctions.

Source: arabnews