Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate for Narcotics Control has thwarted an attempt to smuggle 14 million Captagon amphetamine tablets hidden inside a shipment of iron plates coming from Lebanon, according to Saudi Press Agency SPA.
The shipment was seized in coordination with the Zakat and Tax Authority and the customs at the Islamic port of Jeddah.
Al-Nujaidi added that a citizen was arrested in Riyadh region for his participation in the attempt to smuggle the shipment.
Saudi Arabia has previously banned the import of Lebanese fruits and vegetables in April after a reported increase in drug smuggling from Beirut.
The move came after Saudi Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle over 5 million pills of Captagon stuffed inside fruit imported from Lebanon.
Captagon is used by fighters at war because of the effects it can have to fight tiredness. It is an amphetamine that has widely been made and exported illegally from Lebanon.
Lebanese officials quickly pledged to do more to combat drug smuggling out of the country after Saudi Arabia ordered a ban on all produce imports from Beirut.
“The issue is very serious, especially if it negatively affects the rest of the Gulf states that could take similar or stringent measures,” caretaker Agriculture Minister Abbas Mortada told Reuters.
Ties between Beirut and Riyadh have soured in recent years following the steady rise of Hezbollah and its increased influence over the state and its institutions. Hezbollah continues to support Yemen’s Houthi militia, which attacks Saudi Arabia and civilians inside the Kingdom almost daily.