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Kuwait ups monitoring of Lebanon produce after drug smuggling attempts

April 27, 2021 at 8:56 am

Bunches of vegetables [Serkan Avci/Anadolu Agency]

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry will increase control and oversight of fruits and vegetables imported from Lebanon in the Kuwaiti markets, Al-Rai newspaper reported yesterday.

The Kuwaiti paper quoted unnamed sources as saying that “instructions have been issued to continue to allow the import of vegetables and fruits from Lebanon by sea and air only at the present time, with tightening control.”

The Kuwaiti decision came two days after Saudi Arabia banned the entry of Lebanese vegetables and fruits after a failed attempt to smuggle millions of amphetamine pills embedded in the farm products.

The customs authorities at Jeddah Islamic Port seized on Friday more than 7.8 million Captagon pills hidden in a pomegranate consignment from Lebanon.

READ: Saudi ambassador says drugs smuggled from Lebanon enough to drown Arab world

The Foreign Ministries of Oman and Kuwait have both released statements supporting the ban imposed by Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to combat drug smuggling.

The UAE has also expressed its support for Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban agricultural products coming from Lebanon.

Lebanon said yesterday it hoped Saudi Arabia would reconsider the ban and tasked its interior minister to coordinate with the kingdom to uncover the culprits and prevent a repeat.

The fruit and vegetable trade between the two countries worth $24 million annually.