Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said its border guards had thwarted attempts to smuggle large quantities of the stimulant qat and hashish in several areas of the kingdom, the latest such bids.
The border guards had foiled attempts to smuggle nearly 35 tonnes of qat and 483 kilos of hashish in 12 days in the Saudi regions of Najran, Jiza, asir, Tabuk and Makkah, spokesman for the kingdom’s border guard directorate Col Mesfr Al Quraini said.
The border patrols had arrested a total of 257 suspects linked to the smuggling attempts including 14 Saudis and 243 border security violators, he added.
The Interior Ministry has posted a video of the haul and the arrests.
Earlier this month, Col. Al Quraini said the border guards had foiled smuggling of 52.3 tonnes of qat, 1.6 tonnes of hashish and 352,325 amphetamine narcotic tablets in Najran, Jizan, Asir and Al Jouf.
A total of 406 smugglers, including 44 Saudis, were arrested in connection to those bids, he added. The others were 362 foreign violators of the kingdom’s border security rules.
In recent months, Saudi Arabia thwarted several attempts to smuggle drugs into its territory.
The kingdom’s anti-drug police said this month they had seized 4.9 million amphetamine tablets hidden in a shipment of cables. A border security violator holding the Syrian nationality had been arrested as a would-be recipient of the haul in Riyadh, spokesman for the General Directorate of Narcotic Control Major Mohammad Al Najeidi said.
Last month, the anti-drug police announced thwarting an attempt to smuggle 1.5 million amphetamine tablets hidden in a shipment of building materials. Would-be recipients of the shipment in Riyadh and the Eastern Province were arrested.
In December, Saudi police said they had seized more than 2 million narcotic tablets hidden inside a consignment of wooden planks used for kitchens in Riyadh.
Drug smuggling and trafficking is an offence punishable by up to death in Saudi Arabia.