Saudi Arabia bans Lebanese vegetables, fruits over drug smuggling

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has announced a ban on the entry of consignments of Lebanese vegetables and fruits, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ban effective from April 25 also covers consignments transit through Saudi territories, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The ban will continue until the relevant Lebanese authorities provide sufficient and reliable guarantees to take the necessary measures to stop the “systematic” narcotic smuggling operations targeting the kingdom, the statement highlighted.

The ministry cited the reason for the ban from the kingdom’s commitment to local regulations and provisions of international conventions related to combating all forms of drug smuggling, the Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

 Saudi authorities have noticed increased drug smuggling activity targeting the kingdom from Lebanon or passing through Lebanese territories, the ministry confirmed.

 It revealed that Saudi Arabia had repeatedly urged Lebanese authorities to take practical measures to stop these practices.

 The Saudi Customs in Jeddah Islamic Port said Friday that it foiled an attempt to smuggle 5.3 million pills of Captagon hidden in a consignment of “pomegranate” fruit imported from Lebanon.