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Saudi Prince Apprehended in Largest Drug Bust in Beirut History

A Saudi Prince and four others were detained at Beirut Airport on Monday on charges that they were trafficking a massive drug supply to customers throughout the region.

Prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz, a member of the extensive Saudi Royal Family, and four other unnamed Saudi citizens attempted “to smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine” through Beirut Airport, a Lebanese security source told AFP.

“The smuggling operation is the largest one that has been foiled through the Beirut International Airport” in the nation’s history, the unnamed source added.

Captagon is a brand name for fenethylline, a popular drug that has been consumed by individuals fighting in the Syrian civil war. It is used as a stimulant for the militants on the ground, who have been engaged in an ongoing war since 2011.

The giant supply of drugs was being loaded onto a private jet for transport into Saudi Arabia, the unnamed official said, adding that the five Saudis were still being held for questioning, according to the report.

Lebanon’s state media confirmed the AFP report on Monday, adding that the private jet was carrying about 40 suitcases worth of Captagon and was destined for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city.

This is not the first time that there has been a large-scale Captagon bust in the country.

In April 2014, Lebanese officials thwarted an attempt to traffic 15 million units of Captagon that were being hid in a Beirut port via shipping containers that were filled with corn.

In 2013, Lebanon confiscated over 12.3 million Captagon pills, Reuters reported.

A recent United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime report said that the market for such drugs is continuing to grow in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria are among the most popular destinations for the amphetamines, the report found.

This most recent arrest comes on the heels of other high-profile disturbances involving members of the Saudi royal family.

In September, a Saudi Prince was arrested after he allegedly raped a woman at a Beverly Hills, Los Angeles mansion.

In 2013, a Saudi princess was accused of enslaving a Kenyan employed as a maid at her Los Angeles residence.

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