The head of Lebanese Customs, Badri Daher, now has a new formal arrest warrant bearing his name over allegations related to the scandalous case dubbed the “Captagon Prince” case.
The allegations against Daher include abusing his position as Director-General of Lebanese Customs to illegally lift a travel ban placed on a drug-smuggling Saudi prince.
Prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz, who was caught attempting to smuggle nearly 2 tonnes – or around 10 million pills – of Captagon from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia in 2015, left Lebanon in July this year after having finished his prison sentence.
However, as per Lebanese customs laws, people convicted of crimes related to drug-trafficking cannot leave Lebanon before paying a fine that usually amounts to double or triple the value of the seized goods.
As such, the “Captagon Prince” was supposed to pay a multi-million-dollar fine after getting out of prison in order to leave Lebanon, and he was accordingly banned from traveling before settling the fine.
However, it was revealed after the prince’s departure in July that he had, in fact, not paid the fine.
Investigative journalist Riad Kobaissi, who had been following the case, later filed a criminal complaint, alongside a number of lawyers, against Daher, accusing him of accepting a bribe, wasting public funds, and misusing his influence to illegally lift the prince’s travel ban, which Daher denies.
On that basis, Investigative Judge Charbel Abu Samra has issued an arrest warrant against Daher, who has already been in custody since August for willful negligence accusations related to the Beirut Port explosion.