Kuwait officials look at the seized cartons of liquor valued at more than Dh180 million. A Kuwait smuggler and his Iranian accomplice have been arrested. Image Credit: Al Aan

Manama: Kuwaiti authorities have arrested a Kuwaiti and an Iranian as they were trying to smuggle 15,000 cartons of liquor bottles with a street value of 15 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh181.63 million).

The bust is believed to be the most significant in the country’s history.

According to reports in Kuwait, the authorities were tipped off about a Kuwaiti smuggler, a 37-year-old unemployed, and his accomplice, a 41-year-old Iranian, trading in the sale of wine and hard liquor.

Following a close surveillance, the police confirmed the illegal trade and send an undercover who pretended he wanted to buy 70 cartons worth 56 Kuwaiti Dinars, Kuwaiti news site Al Aan reported on Sunday.

The ambush succeeded in the arrest of the Kuwaiti who confessed that he received the items from his Iranian accomplice who lived in Kuwait as a businessman.

The Kuwaiti showed the police the store where the cartons were kept, enabling them to seize them all.

Kuwait’s penal law forbids the selling, buying, taking, possessing, promoting or trading in alcohol and the drinking of intoxicants. The law also criminalises the import or drinking of alcohol in a public place or private club.

In December 2014, Nabeel Al Fadhl, a lawmaker, provoked a storm of protests when he said he did not mind the legalisation of alcohol in the country, arguing that it was part of the local heritage.

Fellow lawmakers condemned him for his claims amid reports that they would sue him. Kuwait’s parliament banned the sale of alcohol in 1964.

Al Fadhl who often waded into controversy died in December last year during a regular parliamentary session.