It says in the “Middle East”:
The smuggling of drug shipments from Lebanon to Arab and European countries, which was seized last week, revealed the need to activate the Lebanese security measures and close loopholes through which smugglers can run through, despite the measures taken by the Lebanese authorities over the past years, which led to the arrest of more than 15,000 people involved in the drug file and thwarting dozens. Smuggling attempts.
Smugglers turned Lebanon into a corridor and exporter of narcotic substances, east and west. Many link the rise of drug trade and smuggling activity through Lebanon to the Syrian crisis, as a number of border areas outside the Lebanese authority have been transformed into areas designated for the manufacture of narcotic substances, and Lebanon has become an essential passage for these materials, especially with the state’s inability to control the crossings, but a security source. He believes that this is not accurate unless “if we mean (Captagon), as for Indian cannabis or hashish, then its cultivation, manufacture and smuggling may be as old as Lebanon.”
Captagon was not known as a drug manufactured or even smuggled out of Lebanon before the Syrian crisis, according to what a security source said, adding in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that this type of manufactured drug “was popular in Syria, after the Syrian crisis, specifically after 2011. Some of the manufacturers of this material moved to Lebanon, transporting factories and manpower in manufacturing with them.
The source says that after this stage, the Syrians began to establish some Captagon factories in Lebanon under homes and in basements and buildings far from surveillance and from the eyes of the authorities in secret and in hidden places in the northern, western and central Bekaa regions, pointing out that the Lebanese authorities recently seized four factories for manufacturing “ Captagon »in this region.
The source adds that despite the transfer of factories to Lebanon, the percentage of manufactured Captagon does not exceed 10%, while the rest is manufactured in Syria, indicating that most of those working in Lebanon for Lebanese merchants are experts, technicians and Syrian workers specializing in manufacturing operations. The situation in Syria begins to calm down. A good number of factories have returned to Syria.
Captagon enters Lebanon from Syria through illegal and unattended crossings north of Hermel and Wadi Khaled in northern Lebanon through dirt crossings. Raw materials for manufacturing are smuggled from Syria to Lebanon through illegal crossings as well, some of which come from Asian countries in Containers via China to the port of Beirut, and a number of manufacturing machines and raw materials have been seized by security and customs agencies over the past years.
As for hashish, it is of 100% Lebanese origin managed by Lebanese merchants, noting that the method of its manufacture is very primitive and any farmer can separate the seeds from narcotic substances, and it is still being traded between farmers and traders at a price of 1515 pounds.
The source adds that in the past, hashish was smuggled into Israel by land (Syria, Jordan, and then Israel), and the second line is where large merchants collect quotas of hashish from farmers and merchants that are stamped with badges symbolizing their owners and are smuggled through the port to Egypt. Noting that a year before the port was bombed, the Lebanese army had seized a very large shipment of Lebanese traders and smugglers.
In the context, retired Brigadier General Khalil El-Helou points out that drug cultivation is ancient in Lebanon, starting from hashish, passing through poppy, from which opium is made, and ending in recent years to the manufacture of “Captagon”, adding, in an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, that during the civil war (1975) – 1990) The drug trade became active, as drug fields, particularly hashish, were widespread in the Bekaa Valley and areas of the mountain, as hashish was a main financial source of income for a number of parties participating in the Lebanese war and Palestinian organizations.
Al-Hilu explains that after the Lebanese war and with the Syrian regime’s control of Lebanon, this trade continued, referring to several reports indicating the involvement of the Syrian regime and the affiliated parties and benefiting from their financial returns, despite the efforts made in the field of combating drugs.
Regarding the pomegranate shipment packed with “Captagon”, Al-Hilu points out that some have pointed the finger at “Hezbollah” on the basis of its being the controlling power over the state and a large number of areas in which the drug industry and trade are active.