A Shiite Saudi man has been kidnapped in the Keserwan region amid political tensions with Saudi Arabia, reports said on Friday.
“After dropping his wife off at their house in Adma on Thursday evening, Ali Abdul Nabi al-Bashrawi parked his white BMW which has Saudi number plates at the Tabarja roundabout before being kidnapped at the hands of unknown individuals from a nearby area,” LBCI reported.
The TV network revealed that Bashrawi, 34, “belongs to the Muslim Shiite sect and is married to a Syrian woman.”
“He called his wife on Friday, saying that the captors are demanding $1.5 million in return for goods that he had bought from them,” LBCI added.
LBCI k said the case is likely linked to drug trade.
“Security agencies are following up on the case to locate the abductee, amid speculation that he is being held in the Bekaa,” LBCI said, noting that he used a Syrian phone number to call his wife.
Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq issued a statement saying “the safety and security of resident and visiting Saudi citizens, as well as all Arab and foreign residents, is a red line .”
“Tampering with security and stability in Lebanon is a red line whose crossing is prohibited. Security agencies are on alert to foil any attempt to take advantage of the current political situation from any party and for whichever reason,” Mashnouq added.
The incident came on the same day Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately amid skyrocketing tensions with Iran and Hezbollah .