Manama: Saudi customs officers have foiled three attempts to smuggle 358 bottles of hard liquor and 105 kilogrammes of kola nuts, popularly called “goro”.
The banned liquor and nuts were concealed in three vehicles that were crossing the King Fahad Causeway linking the Saudi kingdom with the island kingdom of Bahrain.
"Regarding the first attempt, the officers discovered 312 bottles of hard liquor concealed in the tyres of a private vehicle," Dhaif Allah Al Otaibi, the general director of customs on King Fahad Causeway, said, quoted by Saudi news site Sabq on Thursday.
"As for the second smuggling attempt, the officers found 46 bottles concealed in the petrol tank. The third attempt was foiled when the officers found 105 kilogrammes of kola nuts also hidden in the tyres of the vehicles.
The 25-kilometre causeway opened in November 1986 as the first terrestrial link between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is regularly used by thousands of vehicles and passengers, particularly over the weekend.
Under the formal procedures adopted at the causeway, customs officers in the destination country inspect the vehicles before allowing them to move on.
Officers on both sides of the causeway have been engaged in a relentless battle against incredible ruses to smuggle weapons, explosives, alcohol, birds, animals and even people, a task that has been rendered particularly challenging by the high number of daily users and commuters.
In February 2016, an attempt by a woman to smuggle 1,504 bottles of liquor was foiled.
The bottles were concealed in the bottom of an eight-metre long boat towed by a SUV driven by an Asian national.
One month earlier, the Saudi authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle a foreign woman into the country by hiding her inside a car.
The woman was reportedly “concealed” under a pile of clothes behind the front seats of the car.
In June 2013, an attempt to smuggle a European woman into Saudi Arabia was foiled by local customs officers.
The woman whose nationality was not revealed did not have a passport and was hiding under a large carpet and a small wooden table on the Pajero floor mats.
The woman was discovered as the customs inspected the car driven from Bahrain by a British national.
In May 2015, Saudi Arabia foiled an attempt to smuggle RDX — a highly explosive material — and detonators intended to be used in the kingdom.
The Saudi security men had doubts about the two men driving into Saudi Arabia and decided to conduct a more thorough search of their car.
The inspection yielded 14 bags of carefully hidden inside the back seats of the car. Officials said that 11 bags contained more than 30 kilos of the RDX and two bags had 50 blasting caps. The last bag had a six-metre detonator cord.
In March 2015, Bahraini authorities said that they seized bomb-making material on a bus coming from Iraq via Saudi Arabia with 55 passengers on-board, mostly women and children.