Saudi Arabian police seize shipment of 14.4 million amphetamine pills from Lebanon​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The interception by Saudi Arabian customs authorities in Jeddah was one of the largest drug busts in the kingdom

Lebanon's caretaker Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmy said Lebanon had worked closely with Saudi security forces to intercept a huge shipment of drugs bound for the Gulf this week.

Security officials in Saudi Arabia seized 14.4 million Captagon pills at the port of Jeddah, in one of the largest drug busts in the kingdom.

The pills were found in a shipment from Latakia in Syria via Beirut with a forged Greek certificate of origin, Mr Fahmy said in a statement on Friday.

The seizure of Captagon, a synthetic amphetamine, is almost three times the size of a Captagon seizure in Jeddah in April, when drugs arriving from Lebanon were found hidden inside 80,000 pomegranates.

That led Saudi Arabia to ban imports of agricultural produce from Lebanon.

That economic effects of that ban has left Lebanese authorities desperate to demonstrate they are capable of clamping down on the roaring trade in Captagon,

The latest shipment of narcotics was hidden in a consignment of iron sheets from Lebanon, authorities said.

The operation was conducted in co-operation with the Zakat, Taxation and Customs Authority, according to Maj Mohammed Al Nijaidi of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control.

Maj Al Nijadi said that a suspect related to the case was arrested in Riyadh and was referred to public prosecution.

The latest Captagon find follows a number of high-profile interceptions of amphetamines at Saudi Arabia’s ports of entry this year, traced back to Lebanon.

In late April, Saudi Arabia said it foiled an announcedplot to import five million Captagon pills by concealing them inside pomegranates.

The political fallout from that drugs bust led the Lebanese government to take a more proactive approach to fighting Captagon production and smuggling within the country’s borders.

"The quantities that were thwarted are enough to drown the entire Arab world, not just Saudi Arabia, in narcotics and psychotropic substances," Walid Al Bukhari, the Saudi Ambassador to Beirut, said, referring to the shipment seized in April.

The latest drugs bust stands out for its sheer size; after the April seizure, on 16 May 2.3 million Captagon pills were found hidden under the floor of the storage section of a lorry being driven into the country. Police had to cut through steel to uncover the drugs.

On June 19, Lebanon increased its own efforts and seized an undisclosed number of Captagon pills, reportedly "millions", according to Mr Fahmy, who said they were en route to Saudi Arabia.

"I ask all countries to trust Lebanon as they did before. All Lebanese should co-operate with authorities to restore confidence in the country," he said at Beirut port, where the shipment was intercepted.

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