Jeddah Islamic Port in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: File

Abu Dhabi: Saudi authorities have thwarted an attempt to smuggle nearly 11 million amphetamine drug pills into the kingdom, a Saudi official said.

The haul of 10.9 million amphetamine tablets had been hidden in a shipment of tyres at the Jeddah Port, spokesman for the Saudi General Directorate of Narcotics Combat, Captain Mohammed Al Najidi added.

Coordination was conducted with customs authorities at the Jeddah Port to uncover the smuggling bid, he said.

Legal procedures

Three residents of Turkish nationality, another displaced person, and a Saudi citizen were arrested in connection with the attempt, according to Al Najidi. Preliminary legal procedures were taken against the suspects, who were referred to public prosecution for further questioning and trial.

In recent months, Saudi authorities have thwarted a string of smuggling drugs attempts in the country.

Last December, Saudi anti-drug police had thwarted an attempt to smuggle 11.3 million amphetamine tablets inside a garlic shipment. The attempt involved a seven-member gang in Riyadh.

Drug offences are punishable by up to death in Saudi Arabia.