In a recent and unusual coincidence, a citizen discovered a bag containing a large amount of gold and cash in the parking area of Beirut Rafik Hariri Airport. Since then, the news has been flooding social media as people have been trying to figure out the full truth behind the story.
In details, on Sunday morning, a citizen was at one of the airport’s parking lots where he found a bag with a huge amount of money. He grabbed it and rushed to hand it over to the airport’s security.
An abandoned bag in a public place has become in recent years, as you know, a subject of alarm. The Internal Security Forces stepped in, and their inquest of the bag revealed an unexpected content of 15 kilograms of gold, which is worth approximately $675,000, in addition to 632,000 euros ($710,000) and $170,000 in cash.
After further investigation, the ISF stated that the bag belonged to a Lebanese citizen called A.K. who had arrived in Lebanon from Togo – West Africa via Ethiopia on an Ethiopian Airlines’ flight.
The said A.K was summoned in, and his questioning revealed that he had declared the amount of gold on arrival, which was confirmed, yet he had failed to declare the massive amount of cash in his possession upon arrival. After further interrogation, he was arrested and the case was referred to the Financial Crimes’ Office for further investigation.
The reason why he forgot his bag at the parking lot remains untold, and we can’t but wonder who in his healthy state of mind could forget such a bag with its undeclared content in a public parking lot.
This seizing of contraband items at the airport is not the first of its kind. Just earlier in June of this year, Lebanese Customs had seized more than 11 kilograms of cocaine -worth $11 million- found with two Turkish passengers arriving from Brazil via Ethiopia.
It’s worth mentioning, that Beirut Rafik Hariri international airport has been experiencing in the last couple of month, several changes including an expansion project which was set to improve passengers’ flow and relieve the hardships of Lebanese people travelling from and to this airport.