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One of The Biggest Drug Lords Is Arrested in Lebanon

Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud announced on Saturday that one of the largest drug lords in the Bekaa Valley has been arrested, according to a report in the Jordanian daily AL RAI on Sunday. While Baroud did not mention the name of the arrested drug lord, he said that the arrest came as part of a "major operation against the production of drugs in the Bekaa Valley." He said that the drug lord operated in the Bekaa Valley town of Britel, adding that the arrest put an end to a "large-scale heroin production operation in the town." A statement released by the interior ministry said a total of 41 people were arrested after the questioning of a previous group of 25 arrested drug dealers, most of whom Baroud said were in their twenties.

At a news conference on Saturday, Baroud said that drug users were only committing "partial crimes," and stressed the importance of "treating drug addicts." He highlighted the fact that it was the "major drug lords" that need to be arrested, putting the responsibility on drug producers rather than drug abusers. A number of major drug producers have been arrested during the past few months in Lebanon, AL RAI reported Sunday, citing another large-scale campaign against drug production last February in which security forces razed opium and marijuana fields in the Bekaa Valley. Drug production in Lebanon boomed during the 15-year civil war between 1975 and 1990, as farmers in the Bekaa looked for more profitable markets than vegetables. The drug production sector boomed again in 1996, when efforts by the Lebanese state to confront the issue came short because of the lack of resources available to security forces.
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Title Annotation:Weekend News Roundup
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:May 17, 2010
Words:291
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