A network that smuggles people from Lebanon to Europe was busted at Beirut-Rafik Hariri International Airport on Sunday.
The airport’s General Security personnel caught the perpetrators as they were trying to smuggle Lebanese and Palestinian people to Spain, the National News Agency reported.
The arrested individuals, who were interrogated and admitted to smuggling people, led General Security to discover that the smuggling network had even members working in various departments at the airport.
The agent of one of the planes on board of which people were being smuggled was also found to be complicit, as was the head of operations of a ground services company and an employee at the private flight terminal.
In addition to people, the network’s members smuggled extra weights onto the aircraft that the said company serviced. The arrested individuals were referred to the competent judicial authorities after their interrogation.
Whether by air or sea, human smuggling incidents have become more frequent in recent times.
As a result of the debilitating economic crisis, many have opted to go through the illegal route to reach other countries, most famously Cyprus, as their last option, despite the risks that accompany these methods.
To counter the increasing illegal attempts to cross the Mediterranean from Lebanon to Cyprus, Cypriot and Lebanese authorities have been cooperating to implement additional security measures.