Lebanese security forces are interrogating a Saudi prince on charges of carrying drugs on his private plane after they allegedly retrieved 2 tons of narcotics from the aircraft, local media reported.
Abd al-Muhsen bin Walid bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud was detained on Monday in Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport. The prince was about to conduct a flight on his private plane to Saudi Arabia. Lebanese TV station Al Mayadeen also said that 40 packages of drugs, weighing 2 tons in total, were confiscated.
The prince was arrested and taken in for questioning along with four other people.
The four other men are also Saudi citizens, identified as Bandar Bin Saleh al-Shirali, Yaahia Bin Shaim Bin Shumari, Ziyad Bin Samir al-Hakim and Mubarak Bin Ali al-Kharisi.
According to Press TV they were charged with attempting to smuggle pills of captagon, an amphetamine allegedly widely used among fighters in the Middle East.
“Produced in small tablets, the drug is said to have a function for forgetting pain and fear. It has been widely used in the Syrian civil war which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. ISIS’s drug business has many times appeared in the media, while new evidence recently emerged in the Western media with testimonies of eye witnesses.
It has emerged that the drugs are used not only by members of ISIS but also by members of Al-Nusra and the FSA.“ The synthetic drug, “Captagon”, is said to be used widely by members of ISIS and Al-Nusra to survive pain and to gain courage.
The drug is now produced in Syria, where it is exchanged with weapons in the Persian Gulf countries.
“The smuggling operation is the largest one that has been foiled through the Beirut International Airport,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “Captagon is the brand name for the amphetamine phenethylline, a synthetic stimulant.
The banned drug is consumed mainly in the Middle East and has reportedly been widely used by Terrorist in Syria.“
The security source said the drugs had been packed into cases that were waiting to be loaded onto a private plane that was headed to Saudi Arabia.
Lebanon seized more than 12.3 million Captagon pills in 2013, Reuters reported last year.
The pills have “the typical effects of a stimulant” and produce “a kind of euphoria — you’re talkative, you don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you’re energetic,” according to Lebanese psychiatrist Ramzi Haddad.