Lebanon truckers caught smuggling tons of garbage

Published August 19th, 2015 - 12:02 GMT
The municipality of Lebanon's coastal town of Jounieh used bulldozers to fill more than ten truckloads of trash per day and paid to have them transported to privately owned land in Tripoli province. (AFP/File)
The municipality of Lebanon's coastal town of Jounieh used bulldozers to fill more than ten truckloads of trash per day and paid to have them transported to privately owned land in Tripoli province. (AFP/File)

Two truck drivers were found Tuesday night moving tons of garbage from Jounieh to private property in Tripoli in return for money, activists and media reported.

Speaking to a reporter holding an LBCI microphone, one of the drivers named Rami Harmoush, who owns the land in Tripoli, said Jounieh’s municipality was paying him $500 per load of garbage.

He said the other truck, which was driven by a man named Khalil for $20 a night, was owned by a man called Charbel Hammam, who “coordinates with Jounieh’s municipality” and brings the money.

Harmoush revealed that more than 10 trucks were loaded every day by bulldozers belonging to Jounieh’s municipality from the garbage piles under a major bridge near Casino du Liban.

The two drivers were caught by police after citizens reported that they saw the trucks on the Chekka-Tripoli highway. Police cars stopped them on the Qalamoun highway, where dozens of residents gathered.

Two videos of the drivers making their confessions were posted by Facebook user Omar Sayyed, and then shared by #YouReek, a recent activist campaign for sustainable solutions to the garbage crisis.

The two drivers were then forced to return to Jounieh and dump the garbage from where they collected it. Harmoush announced that he would permanently stop moving garbage to the northern city regardless of how much money he has been offered.

Akkar MP Khaled Daher was also present at the scene, where residents and the LBCI reporter were ‘interrogating’ the two drivers.


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