(BEIRUT) — Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four others were arrested on Monday in the largest drug bust in the history of the Beirut airport, according to a security source.
The prince was allegedly attempting to “smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine,” a security source told AFP.
“The smuggling operation is the largest one that has been foiled through the Beirut International Airport,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
Captagon pills, which typically contain amphetamine and caffeine, is the brand name for phenethylline, a synthetic stimulant. The drug has been manufactured and distributed in Lebanon and Syria.
Reports said the banned drug has been widely used by fighters in Syria, and its manufacturing has become a gateway for distribution in the Gulf.
According to the security source, the drugs were packed into cases that were waiting to be loaded onto a private plane headed to Saudi Arabia.
The Lebanese National News Agency reports the private plane was headed to Riyadh and was carrying 40 suitcases of the drugs.
In April 2014, security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle 15 million capsules of Captagon hidden in shipping containers full of corn from Beirut’s port.
The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime said in a 2014 report that the amphetamine market is on the rise in the Middle East. There have been busts mostly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria accounting for more than 55 percent of amphetamines seized worldwide.