| 18 May 2024, Saturday |

Lebanon’s Ministry of Agriculture seizes ship loaded with rotten rice in Tripoli port

The Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture seized on Saturday a ship loaded with rotten rice at the port of Tripoli and banned it from unloading its cargo, it said in a statement.

“A team of the Agricultural Quarantine Center seized at Tripoli port a vessel of rotten rice, which comes from China and contains high levels of molds and residues of toxic pesticides,” the statement said, noting that the ship is loaded with 31 thousand tons of rice.

The ministry reassured the Lebanese people about “its role in imposing stricter controls over all border crossings as it is keen to preserve the citizens’ health and food safety.”

The sale of rotten products such as meat, chicken and fish has been rampant in Lebanon over the past year and the smuggling of subsidized goods and even drugs has increased significantly in light of a severe financial meltdown.

On Friday, the caretaker Lebanese Minister of Interior, Mohamad Fahmy, inspected the Beirut port after paying a surprise visit to Al Masnaa border crossing where he toured the general security and customs center and inspected the shipping area where the scanners are installed.

Fahmy said on Wednesday that Lebanon will work to combat drug smuggling to prevent further disruptions in relations with Saudi Arabia, asking “friendly countries” to help purchase scanners to inspect goods at Lebanon’s ports and the border with Syria.

The caretaker government announced on Sunday that Lebanon has detained two brothers suspected of being involved in a foiled attempt to smuggle amphetamines into Saudi Arabia that prompted the Saudi authorities to impose a ban on importing Lebanese produce.

The kingdom announced the ban on April 23 after the discovery of 5.3 million Captagon pills, a type of amphetamine, hidden in pomegranate shipments from Lebanon.

  • Sawt Beirut International