Manama: Drug-related offences account for the biggest number of crimes committed in Saudi Arabia, according to a report published by the Saudi daily Al Riyadh.

Around 47,000 drug-related cases were reported, representing around 27 per cent of the total, while economic offences ranked lowest on the list.

The public prosecution department said that its staff conducted 36,429 inspection visits to prisons, detention centres and care centres, besides anti-narcotics, traffic and deportation departments.

Public prosecution officials questioned more than 218,000 people, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year, the report said. Foreigners accounted for 30 per cent of the total, with more than 65,000, a figure that is proportionate with the percentage of expatriates in the kingdom.

The number of cases reviewed by the public prosecution was 117,450, an increase of 23 per cent over the previous year, the report said.

Makkah in western Saudi Arabia topped the investigation list with more than 44,000 cases while Riyadh had the highest number of suspects with over 53,000. Al Baha region in southwest Saudi Arabia had the lowest number of cases with 2,176 and 2,679 suspects. The public prosecution attributed the sharp difference in the crime rate in different areas to the numbers of people living in those regions.