Lebanon seizes 2 tonnes of drugs aboard Saudi-bound jet
BEIRUT - Lebanese authorities detained five Saudi citizens at Beirut international airport on Monday after finding two tonnes of drugs aboard a private jet of a Saudi Prince bound for the Gulf kingdom, security sources and the National News Agency said.
An official said the prince and four others have been detained Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was authorized to give official statements.
The plane, scheduled to fly to Hael in northern Saudi Arabia, was carrying 40 bags of Captagon amphetamine pills.
Security services were questioning the suspects, the sources said, without elaborating.
Lebanon's National News Agency described it as the biggest smuggling operation ever discovered at the Beirut airport.
Captagon manufacturing thrives in Lebanon and war-torn Syria, which have become a gateway for the drug to the Middle East and particularly the Gulf.
The UN Office of Drugs and Crime said in a 2014 report that the amphetamine market is on the rise in the Middle East, with busts mostly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria accounting for more than 55 percent of amphetamines seized worldwide.