Beirut, July 21 : Lebanon’s state security has busted a human smuggling network consisting of seven Syrian and several Lebanese nationals in El Aabde in northern Lebanon, media reported.
The operation arrested 79 Syrians who entered Lebanon illegally through the network, including 13 passengers who were planning to leave Lebanon by sea for Europe, said the report on Thursday.
The arrested were referred to judicial bodies for investigation and other legal procedures, it added.
Lebanon’s security forces have been stepping up efforts to crack down on the smuggling of Syrians into and out of the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees scattered across the country.
Lebanon has urged the international community to secure a safe return for Syrian refugees to their homeland, as it is suffering an unprecedented financial crisis and the refugees weigh heavily on its already strained economy.