As part of their efforts to limit illegal sea crossings from Lebanon, security forces have arrested a group responsible for smuggling a large number of people out of the country.
In a statement released on Friday, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said that it was able to identify 3 perpetrators in people-smuggling operations to Cyprus through the Aabde beach, northern Lebanon.
The perpetrators, “K.H.” (Lebanese, 31), “H.A.” (Lebanese, 48), and “F.N.” (Syrian, 40), were arrested on separate dates and in different locations by the ISF’s Information Branch after extensive surveillance operations, the statement said.
K.H. was carrying a pistol at the time of his arrest, and the 3 detainees admitted to being involved in smuggling more than 60 people, most of whom were Syrian nationals, from the aforementioned beach to Cyprus, in exchange for $2,000 per person.
The ISF said the arrests came within the framework of the continuous follow-up by the Information Branch to “combat the illegal smuggling of people, by sea, out of the country, which had previously put the lives of migrants at risk and claimed the lives of a large number of them.”
It added that the Information Branch has concentrated its informational procedures to detect and arrest perpetrators in these operations.
Illegal sea crossings from Lebanon to Cyprus became more frequent in late 2020. They were responsible for many deaths and prompted the Lebanese and the Cypriot authorities to cooperate to put an end to the dangerous phenomenon.