BEIRUT — Lebanon's security forces thwarted a smuggling operation of around 10 million captagon pills hidden in a rubber carbon shipment in Tripoli, North Lebanon, caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi announced Friday via Twitter, adding that the shipment was first destined for Senegal and then for Saudi Arabia.
The caretaker minister added that the 10 million pills were seized in a warehouse in the Qobbeh area of Tripoli while the shipment was being loaded in preparation for transfer to Tripoli's port.
"Based on information that was available to the [Special Force in the Information Division] about the smuggling operation, spearheaded by the wanted, J. Sh., the division was able to identify the members of the network and the warehouse in the Qobbeh area, Tripoli," Mawlawi said on Twitter.
Captagon is the trademark name commonly given to fenethylline, a synthetic amphetamine-type stimulant.
Mawlawi added that security forces arrested four suspects in relation to the shipment and have launched an investigation into the matter while "work is underway to identify others involved."
Authorities have stepped up efforts to combat drug trafficking from or through Lebanon, a practice regularly singled out by Gulf countries.
On April 12, the Internal Security Forces seized about 120,000 captagon pills from a house under construction in Qabait, a village in Akkar, in northern Lebanon.
And in early November, Lebanese customs seized approximately 5 million captagon pills hidden in plastic construction boards due to be exported to Tunisia through the Port of Beirut.