BEIRUT, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese state security arrested on Tuesday drivers of four trucks in Bibnin, north of Lebanon, carrying smuggled vegetables from Syria, local media reported.
The vegetables were confiscated and the four drivers were transferred to the related judiciary bodies for further investigations, according to Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.
Head of the Lebanese Farmers' Association Antoine Howayek told Xinhua that merchants are buying produce from Syria because they are cheaper.
"Also, farmers' harvests, last year, were impacted by the weather in Lebanon which led them to produce less this year, prompting merchants to buy agricultural products from Syria," he said.
Howayek emphasized the need to find a mechanism in cooperation with the government and the customs authorities to control the smuggling of agricultural produce from Syria to Lebanon.
Over a week ago, Lebanese Customs raided several shops in the Sidon suburb of al-Hasbeh in search of fruits and vegetables smuggled from Syria.
Many apples and tomatoes bearing stickers of "Product of al-Sham" were seized.