Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four others were detained by Beirut airport officials while attempting to smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine packed in 40 suitcases. In the largest drug bust in the history of the Beirut airport, the drugs were seized as the prince’s private plane was preparing to depart for Saudi Arabia. Captagon, the brand name for the amphetamine phenethylline, is consumed mainly in the Middle East and has reportedly been widely used by ISIS fighters in Syria. The value of the seized cargo on October 26 is around £190 million.
In Saudi Arabian law, the penalty for such a felony as committed by Prince Mohsen (non-lethal crime) is execution. But Mohsen will not face the full extent of the law, either in Saudi Arabia or Lebanon, because of his status and the relationship that exists between the two countries (Lebanon’s large Sunni Muslim community loves Sunni Saudi Arabia).
@SaudiEmbassy let us know when you execute prince Abdel Mohsen bin Walid bin Abdulaziz for smuggling. Or do you only execute the commoners?
— charles b. hyde (@cbradfordhyde) October 27, 2015
The manufacture of fenethylline pills thrives in Lebanon and war-torn Syria, which have become a gateway for the drug to the Middle East and particularly the Gulf. In a 2014 report, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime says the amphetamine market is on the rise in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria accounting for more than 55% of amphetamines seized worldwide. In April 2014, an attempt to smuggle 15 million capsules of Captagon, hidden in shipping containers full of corn, was foiled at Beirut’s airport.
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