Lebanon seizes 10 million Captagon pills destined for Saudi Arabia

Shipment was intended to be smuggled via Senegal

10 million Captagon tablets were hidden in a shipment of rubber carbon destined for Senegal and then Saudi Arabia. Twitter/@MawlawiBassam
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Lebanon's security forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle about 10 million Captagon pills to Senegal and then to Saudi Arabia, the country's Minister of Interior and Municipalities Bassam Mawlawi said on Friday.

The pills were to be smuggled hidden in a shipment of rubber carbon, Mr Mawlawi said in a tweet.

The minister said a special force carried out a quick operation and arrested four Lebanese people in the predominantly residential Tripoli neighbourhood of Al Qobbeh.

The men were loading the goods into containers to be transferred to the port of Tripoli, Mr Mawlawi said.

The four were being questioned and work is under way to identify other culprits, he said.

Captagon is a mix of amphetamines that has become one of the most commonly used recreational drugs among young people in the Middle East.

The region is facing a Captagon crisis after production, trafficking and consumption of the drug skyrocketed in the past decade.

The small, off-white pills have become a main component of the drug trade in the Levant because they are cheap to produce and have among the highest returns in the global narcotics trade.

Earlier this week, Jordanian security forces arrested a major drug smuggler in the north of the kingdom, the latest development in a drug war on the country's border with Syria.

Updated: April 14, 2023, 1:02 PM