Lebanon's General Directorate of Internal Security Forces announced on Friday that it had intercepted the largest drug smuggling operation in the history of Lebanon, after thwarting the smuggling of 25 tonnes of hashish through the port of Beirut to an African country.
According to the directorate's statement, after a three-month follow-up, the Central Anti-Narcotics Office of the Judicial Police Unit: "Seized a convoy of eight trucks that were heading to the Beirut harbour campus, containing thousands of nylon bags filled with agricultural soil."
After the inspection of the containers at the port on 24 March, large quantities of hashish were seized, weighing approximately 25 tonnes, which were professionally packed inside bags, according to the statement.
The directorate explained that the seized quantity, which was on its way to an African country that the security forces did not name, is considered the: "Largest in the history of Lebanon, and it was ready and prepared to be traded, promoted, sold and smuggled abroad. An investigation is being carried out under the supervision of the concerned judiciary, and work is ongoing to arrest those involved."
According to the United Nations, Lebanon is the third largest producer of hashish in the world, after Afghanistan and Morocco.
Known for its "good quality", hashish was a flourishing industry during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). It generated millions of dollars before the state launched campaigns to eliminate it, promising alternative cultivations, which were not achieved.
The Lebanese security forces are working to destroy crops grown in the Bekaa region in the east, and are equally targeting farmers. Confrontations often occurred between these forces and the families working in this field, in addition to political interventions to stop the campaigns.
In recent years, security forces have seized large quantities of hashish and captagon pills, intended for export, and many international trade networks have been arrested. Quantities of cocaine and industrial drugs imported to Lebanon have similarly been seized.