Suitcase filled with $1.5m of gold and cash found at Beirut airport

A general view shows Beirut's international airport, Lebanon. (Reuters)
Updated 08 July 2019

Suitcase filled with $1.5m of gold and cash found at Beirut airport

  • The gold was found inside a suitcase by a passerby on Sunday and handed to airport security

CAIRO: A suitcase containing $1.5 million of gold and cash was discovered in the car park of Lebanon’s main airport.

The gold was found inside a suitcase by a passerby on Sunday and handed to airport security, Lebanon’s state news agency reported.

Internal security forces at Rafic Hariri International Airport  examined the suitcase and found 14.95 kilograms of gold inside, worth approximately $675,000, along with €632,000 and $170,000 in cash.

The security forces said the suitcase belonged to a Lebanese national who had travelled from Togo to Ethiopia before boarding an Ethiopian Airlines flight to Beirut.

After contacting the suitcase owner, the authorities found that the owner had announced the amount of gold that had been carried, but did not reveal the wads of cash inside the suitcase.

The statement said authorities had arrested the suitcase owner.

Algerian court jails protesters over election

Updated 7 min 3 sec ago

Algerian court jails protesters over election

ALGIERS: An Algerian court has jailed four protesters for 18 months for disrupting a candidate’s campaign for the Dec. 12 presidential election which is opposed by a mass protest movement.
The court sentenced the four on Monday after protests on Sunday in the western city of Tlemcen, where one of the five candidates, Ali Benflis, was campaigning. No details were available on what their exact actions were.
Algeria’s authorities are trying to quell a protest movement that erupted in February to demand the departure of the country’s ruling hierarchy, an end to corruption and the army’s withdrawal from politics.
The army, which has emerged as the most powerful institution in the country, has pushed for next month’s election as a means to end the protests and restore normality. The former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, quit in April.
The judgment comes a week after a series of other prison sentences were handed down to protesters who had raised flags with Berber symbols during earlier demonstrations.
Several opposition leaders have also been held during the protests, and charged with contributing to damaging army morale.
However, the authorities have also detained numerous current and former senior officials on corruption charges, and have jailed some of them including the once untouchable former intelligence chief.
The protesters have rejected any presidential election carried out now, saying the continued presence of Bouteflika allies in the upper echelons of the government mean it cannot be free or fair.
Human Rights Watch said last week that the arrest of scores of protesters looked like “part of a pattern of trying to weaken opposition to Algeria’s interim rulers and their determination to hold presidential elections.”