BEIRUT — Internal Security Forces arrested a person suspected of stealing donations from the Our Lady of Assumption Church in the Bekaa Valley village of Houch Hala, the ISF said in a statement on Tuesday. One of his suspected accomplices is still at large.
According to the ISF, the suspect, named only as M. K., was arrested on Monday while he was riding a tuktuk in the village of Tal Derzenoun in the Bekaa, accompanied by another man who was wanted for arrest in a separate case. The ISF also said he had heroin in his possession, which was seized by the police.
According to the police's statement, M.K. confessed to organizing the theft. Police seized around LL3 million (approximately $70 at the daily parallel market rate) in stolen church funds from him. He also reportedly confessed he bought drugs with the stolen money.
Theft and other crimes in Lebanon have risen as the country struggles from an unprecedented economic crisis that has devaluated most people's salaries.