Drugs seized by Kuwaiti authorities that were concealed in charcoal. Drug dealers primarily target university students followed by school pupils Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Cairo: Around 144 people died last year in Kuwait due to drug overdoses, a Kuwaiti newspaper has said, quoting security sources.

Kuwaitis accounted for 61 per cent of the deaths and the rest were foreigners, Al Qabas quoted the sources as saying.

Males, meanwhile, made up 92 per cent of the facilities while the remaining 8 per cent were females.

“The rise in such deaths is due to proliferation of adulterated drugs. Tests at the criminal evidence labs showed that the main reason for the overdose fatalities is due to adulterated drugs,” Al Qabas quoted the sources as saying.

“Drug dealers primarily target university students followed by school pupils,” they added.

People in the age group between 31 to 40 years stand out among the overdose-induced deaths followed by the age bracket between 41 to 50 years, they remarked.

Kuwait arrested 3,000 people in drug-related cases and seized record amounts of narcotics last year, Al Qabas reported earlier this year.

The offenders included 1,500 Kuwaitis, 800 stateless Bidoons, 300 Egyptian expatriates and the rest belong to Syrian, Lebanese, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani nationalities, Al Qabas added.

Around 860 more expatriates were deported from Kuwait for offences of taking drugs or possessing little amounts of drugs that did not warrant registering criminal cases against them.

During the last year, Kuwaiti anti-drug police seized nearly 1,700kg of hashish, the biggest haul in a single year.

They also seized around 10 million drug pills and 30 kilos of heroin as well as 200 kilos of methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant locally known as shabu, according to the sources.

Kuwait applies tough penalties in drug cases, including the death penalty.