Early Tuesday morning, Lebanese Customs officers raided several shops in the Sidon suburb of al-Hasbeh in search of fruits and vegetables smuggled from Syria, causing commotion among shop owners who attempted to block Customs personnel from entering.
Customs officials found that at least seven shops were selling produce purchased from merchants in Bekaa and Tripoli that had allegedly been smuggled from Syria.
When the shop owners refused to let Customs confiscate their goods, Customs officers called for the Lebanese Army to intervene. However, Sidon MP Bahia Hariri deescalated the situation, dispatching the head of the Sidon Merchants Association, Ali Sharif, to calm the shop owners.
While the shop owners will not be prosecuted, an investigation has been launched into the source of the stock and its entry into Lebanon.