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For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Cairo: Two Saudis were sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison and fined SR100,000 after they were convicted of possessing drugs for trading, an official source at the kingdom’s prosecution has said.

Investigations showed that the two defendants had used a rest house as a hideout for drug trafficking, the source added.

On raiding the place, police had found 100 drug pills, an unspecified amount of hashish along with peddling tools.

They were charged with drug possession with the intention of trading and referred to a competent court that handed the male defendant 12 years in jail, the co-defendant five years, and ordered both to pay a fine of SR100,000, the source said.

In recent months, Saudi authorities have stepped up a crackdown dubbed as a war against narcotics smuggling and trafficking.

Authorities there have reported thwarting a series of attempts to smuggle drugs into the kingdom.

The Saudi Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority reported this week foiling at the Jeddah port an attempt to smuggle 2.2 million Captagon pills hidden into a cargo of baklava desserts. Two would-be recipients were arrested in connection to the haul.

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

In July, Saudi customs officers said they had seized 1.3kg of heroin and 41 grams of opium inside a traveller’s gut upon his arrival at the King Abdulaziz airport in the Red Sea of Jeddah.

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