Saudi arabia drugs
Saudi Arabia has foiled a major operation to smuggle drugs into the country. Illustrative image. Image Credit: General Directorate of Narcotics Control, Saudi Arabia

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s customs officers had busted an attempt to smuggle 81 kilos of hashish at a border crossing, authorities said, the latest in a series of foiled bids.

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (Zatca) said the haul had been uncovered inside a car arriving at Al Wadeah border with Yemen.

Zatca added in a statement that while inspecting the car, around 81.3kg of hashish had been found out hidden in the cavity of the car roof. A would-be recipient of the haul was later arrested.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia announced thwarting several attempts to smuggle drugs into its territory.

Saudi anti-drug police last month said they had seized more than 2 million narcotic tablets hidden inside a consignment of wooden planks used for kitchens in the capital Riyadh.

Four foreigners, including a Syrian resident, two Syrian visitors and a Pakistani resident, were arrested in connection to the haul of the amphetamine drug tablets, said spokesman for the General Directorate of Narcotic Control Major Mohammed Al Najeidi.

In November, the Saudi Interior Ministry said border guard patrols had foiled bids to smuggle large amounts of drugs into several areas of the kingdom including 671 kilograms of hashish, and 26.5 tons of the stimulant qat.

Eighty-two smugglers were arrested in connection to the thwarted attempts. They included 18 Saudi citizens and 64 violators of the kingdom’s border security rules, according to the ministry.

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