• Short Summary

    THERE'S BEEN A MASSIVE INCREASE IN DRUG SMUGGLING IN RECENT YEARS AND POLICE FORCES ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE CO-OPERATING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE TRAFFIC.

  • Description

    THERE'S BEEN A MASSIVE INCREASE IN DRUG SMUGGLING IN RECENT YEARS AND POLICE FORCES ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE CO-OPERATING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE TRAFFIC. A MAJOR SOURCE OF ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY USED DRUGS, HASHISH, IS LEBANON, IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

    THE BEST HASHISH IN THE WORLD, THEY SAY, COMES FORM BAALBECK, WHOSE ROMAN RUINS ARE ONE OF THE GREAT TOURIST SIGHTS OF THE LEBANON. BAALBECK HAS ANOTHER FLOURISHING INDUSTRY. IT'S HASHISH. AND BAALBECK IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR PLACES TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE MEN OF THE LEBANESE UNDERWORLD WHO CONTROL THE HASHISH MARKET.

    THE GOVERNMENT FORBIDS THE CULTIVATION OF HASHISH BUT THE PLANT GROWS WILD LOCALLY IN THE SURROUNDING FORESTS AND MOUNTAINS. IT'S JUST A WEED, EASILY RECOGNISABLE FROM ITS WIDE-FINGERED LEAVES. THE FLOWER PROVIDES A WORLD OF DREAMS FOR THE SMOKER. AND A MAJOR HEADACHE TO THE POLICE WHOSE JOB IT IS TO CURB THE FASTEST-GROWING CRIMINAL OPERATION OF TODAY.

    IN THE LOCAL TOWNS AND VILLAGES, SMALL GROUPS OF MEN IN CELLARS CONVERT THE NONDESCRIPT FLOWER INTO THE FINISHED PRODUCT. IT IS THEN SOLD LOCALLY OR EXPORTED -- ILLEGALLY, OF COURSE -- TO COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE MAIN MARKETS FOR BAALBECK HASHISH ARE EGYPT, KUWAIT AND THE UNITED STATES. WESTERN EUROPE IS NOW MOVING UP FAST AMONG THE TOP OUTLETS OF THE DRUG.

    HASHISH IS KNOWN BY A VARIETY OF OTHER NAMES. MARIJUANA IN LATIN AND NORTH AMERICA. POT BY SMOKERS. CANNABIS BY THE POLICE. IN MOROCCO AND FRANCE IT'S KNOWN AS KEEF. BUT WHATEVER THE NAME, IT'S GREAT ATTRACTION IS THAT IT MAKES A MAN "HIGH" WHETHER HE SMOKES IT - OR JUST ABSORBING THE FUMES WHILE HE IS PREPARING THE DRUG IN HIS CELLAR.

    THE FIRST LUMPY PRODUCT IS PASSED THROUGH A SIEVE AND THE FINE POWDER WHICH COMES THROUGH IS THEN POURED INTO ONE-KILO PLASTIC BUNDLES. THE HASHISH IS THEN CAREFULLY GRADED. BAALBECK FIRST GRADE CAN B BOUGHT IN THE LEBANON FOR $25 A KILO AND RESOLD IN NEW YORK FOR $1,500.. THIRD GRADE COSTS $10 A KILO IN BAALBECK AND SELLS FOR 100 TIMES MORE IN NEW YORK.

    BETWEEN TESTING AND TASTING, HASHISH PRODUCES ARE HIGH ALMOST ALL THE TIME. THE FIRST STEP AFTER MANUFACTURING THE HASHISH IS TO SMOKE IT TO TEST THE QUALITY A TEAM EFFORT. THE ARABS BELIEVE THAT SMOKING PURE HASHISH WILL GIVE YOU A HEADACHE. MIXED WITH TOBACCO, THE SMOKE AND THE "HIGH" ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SMOOTHER.

    THE HASHISH IS SMOKED THROUGH A PIPE, KNOWN TO VISITOR TO THE MIDDLE EAST AS THE "HUBBLY-BUBBLY". THE PIPE PASSES FROM SMOKER TO SMOKER. THE QUALITY IS GRADED BY PRODUCER BEFORE HE SELLS IT AND HE IS AN PROUD OF HIS PRODUCT AS A FRENCH BOTTLER OF FINE BURGUNDY WINES.

    IT IS THROUGH BEIRUT AIRPORT THAT MOST OF THE HASHISH IS SHIPPED TO THE WORLD. IT IS SMUGGLED OUT NOT ONLY BY PROFESSIONAL BUT ALSO BY TOURIST, USUALLY STUDENT, ANXIOUS TO MAKE A QUICK AND LARGE PROFIT WHEN THEY GET BACK TO NEW YORK OR PARIS. THEY TRY TO HIDE THE DRUG IN THEIR SUITCASES AND KITBAGS. IT IS A HIGHLY RISKY OPERATION. THE LEBANESE COURTS DO NOT ENCOURAGE THIS TYPE OF FREE ENTERPRISE AND THERE ARE SEVERAL DOZEN YOUNG STUDENTS FROM AMERICA AND EUROPE NOW LANGUISHING IN BEIRUT'S UNCOMFORTABLE AND RAT-INFESTED JAIL. AND THE PENALTIES IN LEBANON FOR DRUG SMUGGLING ARE SEVERE: THREE TO FIFTEEN YEARS IN PRISON.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAAAKMV8OVKVZ66EGJK9T9R9E66
    Media URN:
    VLVAAAKMV8OVKVZ66EGJK9T9R9E66
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    18/04/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:41:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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