Saudi authorities issued on Friday a ban on exporting fruits and vegetables from Lebanon or transporting them through its territory until the relevant Lebanese authorities provide guarantees to stop drug smuggling operations.
Saudi Arabia had announced earlier that it has thwarted an attempt to smuggle 2.4 million drug pills from Lebanon, which smugglers tried to deliver to the Kingdom through a pomegranate shipment.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior said in a statement that “this ban will start from nine o’clock in the morning on Sunday, April 25th, until the relevant Lebanese authorities provide sufficient and reliable guarantees to take the necessary measures to stop the systematic smuggling operations against the Kingdom.”
“The concerned authorities in KSA have noticed drug trafficking originating from Lebanon or passing through it is increasingly targeting the Kingdom, whether through incoming shipments to the Kingdom’s markets or with the intent to cross into neighboring countries of the Kingdom, and the most prominent of these shipments that are used for smuggling vegetables and fruits,” The Saudi Ministry noted.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior also clarified that, “The decision came due to the lack of practical measures taken to stop these practices towards the Kingdom, despite numerous attempts to urge the relevant Lebanese authorities to do so. And in order to protect the citizens of the Kingdom and those residing on its territory from everything that affects their safety and security.”
The statement concluded by saying that the Kingdom continues to monitor everything that would target the security of the country and the safety of its citizens and residents on its territory from the scourge of drugs, whether from the Lebanese Republic or from other countries. The Kingdom will take the necessary measures to confront it.