Saudi Arabia has banned the imports of Lebanese fruit and vegetables after finding tonnes of illegal drugs smuggled into the country over the past six years.
Saudi authorities have seized more than 600 million Captagon pills and hundreds of kilograms of hashish in the past six years.
The most recent shipment seized included more than five million Captagon pills smuggled in a shipment of pomegranates.
The news was announced by Riyadh’s ambassador to Beirut, Waleed Al Bukhari.
“The quantities that were thwarted are enough to drown the entire Arab world, not just Saudi Arabia, in narcotics and psychotropic substances,” Mr Al Bukhari wrote on Twitter.
Saudi Arabia will continue banning Lebanese imports until they’re convinced that Beirut has stopped the smuggling.
But it’s left Lebanese farmers with a big problem. The fruit and vegetable trade is one of the few economic bright spots in Lebanon.
Lebanese farmers who rely on Middle East exports have asked the Lebanese government to find an answer.
And with Lebanese exports worth up to $24 million a year, let’s hope there’s an answer to this problem soon!