Cairo: A Saudi court had handed down a two-year prison sentence to an expatriate caught attempting to smuggle $279,000 outside the kingdom in dates boxes, a Saudi prosecution official has said.
The defendant, who holds an African nationality, had been caught at the King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah. The date of the foiled smuggling bid was not given.
Investigations revealed that the man had attempted to smuggle the dollar cache inside two dates boxes stashed in his bag in violation of the kingdom’s laws.
He had also SR5,000 in his possession at the time of arrest.
The man was charged with money laundering and referred to the court that also ordered the seized money be confiscated and his deportation from the kingdom after he serves the jail term, the prosecution official added.
Prosecution has appealed against the ruling, requesting a tougher penalty, the official said.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecution has repeatedly asserted keenness to protect national economy and warned that violators of the country’s financial system will be brought to justice.
Under Saudi law, a passenger leaving the kingdom is required to make a customs declaration if he/she carries money valued at more than SR60,000.