Manama: Authorities in Kuwait have foiled an attempt to smuggle around 4,000 bottles of alcohol into the country.
The bottles were concealed in a container of construction material that was being transported on a truck, the head of Al Ahmadi security department said.
“A patrol was driving in the Industrial Zone when the servicemen spotted a parked truck,” Abdullah Safah said. “When the policemen approached it, they did not find the driver, but they saw a whiskey bottle. They immediately called a back-up. The container was subsequently opened and the policemen found 500 boxes of whiskey hidden in the middle of construction material.”
The competent authorities were informed and the truck was confiscated while an investigation was launched to identify the culprits, summon the truck owners and determine how the bottles were smuggled past customs officers, he added, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Thursday.
“Dealers trading in drugs and whiskey tend to exploit national and festive occasions to push their poison among young people and addicts, hoping they would not be caught by the police. Officers are fully aware of their tactics and will do their best to foil their illicit and ominous deals,” he said.
Kuwait, alongside all Islamic countries, will celebrate Eid Al Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, on September 1.
The purchase and making of alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in Kuwait.
In July 2014, the authorities seized 6,000 bottles of wine being smuggled into the country.
The smugglers had reportedly hidden the bottles inside a container that was shipped to Kuwait through Shuaibiya port.
The authorities, acting on a tip about the smuggling attempt, coordinated their efforts with the customs department and were able to identify the container.
However, the authorities decided not to make any moves and to monitor the movement of the smugglers and their accomplices in order to identify all the suspects.
The officers eventually moved in and opened the container where they found the bottles concealed inside. All the suspects were arrested and referred to the public prosecution.
Kuwait’s anti-alcohol law
Under Article 206 (a) of Kuwait’s Penal Law, “any person who brings, imports or manufactures alcoholic or intoxicating beverages for the purpose of trading shall be penalised for a period not exceeding 10 years.”
Article 206(b) states that “if the intention of bringing, importing or manufacturing is not trading or promotion, the person shall be penalised with a fine not exceeding KD100 and should he repeat this act the penalty shall be for a period not more than six months and/or a fine of not more than KD100.”
Article 206(d) stipulates that “any person who takes alcoholic or intoxicating beverages to a public place or to a place where he may be seen by others be it a public place or a private club, and any person who brings the alcoholic or intoxicating beverage to the said place for another person to consume shall be penalized for a period not exceeding six months and/or fined not more than KD50. Any person who is found drunk will be punished the same.”