Saudi Arabia drugs
Saudi Arabia has foiled an attempt to smuggle drugs through its border crossing. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Saudi customs authorities have urged the public to report attempts to smuggle drugs into the country, saying whistleblowers will get an unspecified financial reward.

“The informer is granted a financial reward in case the information included in the report is verified as true,” spokesman for the Saudi Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (Zatca) Hamud Al Harbi said.

He told Saudi news TV Al Ekhbariya that reports about smuggling attempts are treated in secret.

His remarks were made after Zatca officials had foiled an attempt to smuggle 841,440 drug Captagon pills through a border crossing.

The haul was seized hidden inside a truck coming to the kingdom through the Al Haditha crossing near the border with Jordan. The drugs were found to have been stashed away into iron boxes.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia reported thwarting a series of attempts to smuggle drugs into the country as part of what is dubbed as the “war on drugs”.

In late December, the Saudi Interior Ministry said border guards had thwarted an attempt to smuggle 1.6 tons of hashish. The attempt had been aborted in Sharurah governorate in the Saudi southern Najran province bordering Yemen.

In October, Saudi anti-drug police said they had seized 3.8 million amphetamine tablets in a swoop in the capital Riyadh.

Eleven suspects – eight expatriates and three Saudis – were arrested in connection with the haul, said Major Marwan Al Hazami, the spokesman for the Saudi General Directorate of Narcotics Control. They included seven Syrians and a Nepali national. The arrests were made in the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Mecca, Al Qasim, Ha’il and Al Jouf, according to the official.

Also in October, Saudi customs authorities said they had foiled a bid to smuggle around 932,980 Captagon pills in a pomegranate shipment. The haul was uncovered at the Saudi Duba port where the cargo coming from outside the kingdom had undergone customs procedures, according to Zatca.

Two would-be recipients were arrested in connection with the attempt.

In July, Saudi Arabia’s anti-drug police said they had thwarted in cooperation with their Omani counterparts an attempt to smuggle over 6 million amphetamine tablets hidden in a shipment of pastry, citrus and nuts.

Drug smuggling and trafficking is an offence punishable by up to death in Saudi Arabia.