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Conflict Incident Report

Venezualan woman found smuggling 31kg of Cocaine

Date of incident: 
December 22, 2017
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Customs

A Venezuelan woman in her 80s was detained when she was found to be carrying 31 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport.

The thwarted smuggling attempt was described as one of the biggest busts ever made in Lebanon.

The Foreign Ministry  denied that a foreign diplomat in Lebanon had been involved in the trafficking of cocaine through Beirut’s airport.

In a statement, the ministry noted that the suspect, identified using the initials Aa.a., had been masquerading using a “forged document from an African country [that falsely represented the holder] as an honorary consul of that country in Lebanon.”

An honorary consul is a title used for non-full-time diplomats who represent their country on a usually voluntary basis.

The suspect was not an accredited official of any foreign country in Lebanon, the ministry said. The statement added that the ministry’s information was sourced through contact with security agencies close to the investigation.

Primary category: 
Secondary Category: 
Illicit Trade/Trafficking/Smuggling
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Power & governance conflicts
Violent or non-violent conflicts associated with antagonisms related to internal political tensions between local and/or national groups and parties. These tensions may be encouraged by internal, regional and international parties. Such conflicts are characterized by their defiance and/or opposition to central State power and governance.