Lebanese Armed Forces’ units, deployed in the Bekaa and the north, have arrested three Lebanese citizens and three Syrian nationals as they attempted to smuggle subsidized goods into the Syrian territories, the Army Command – Directorate of Orientation said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the army said the detentions were made on Monday, noting that it also seized two vehicles, a tanker and a pick-up truck loaded with around 19,500 liters of diesel oil, subsidized foodstuffs as well as cigarettes and tobacco intended for smuggling into neighboring Syria.
The seized materials were handed over and an investigation was launched with the detainees under the supervision of the competent judiciary, the statement added.
Smuggling occurs in both directions, but smuggling from Lebanon to Syria has become more common with deteriorating economic conditions in the two countries and in light of the sanctions imposed on Syria.
This includes smuggling basic goods subsidized by the Lebanese state such as flour, fuel and medicine. There are also illegal routes for smuggling stolen cars. Products smuggled to Syria also include raw materials for manufacturing and vehicle spare parts.