Part of the seized drugs Image Credit: From the video

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s border guard patrols have foiled attempts to smuggle large amounts of drugs into several areas of the kingdom, the Interior Ministry has said.

The busted haul includes 671 kilos of hashish, 26.5 tonnes of the stimulant qat and 290,170 tablets subject to medical handling law in the kingdom, the ministry added.

The attempts were busted in several regions of the kingdom including Najran, Jaza, Asir, Medina and Mecca and the Eastern Province.

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

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has foiled a series of attempts to smuggle drugs into the kingdom.

Saudi anti-drug police said earlier this month they had thwarted an attempt to smuggle over 1.9 million narcotic tablets.

Spokesman for the kingdom’s General Directorate of Narcotics Control, Major Mohammed Al Najeidi, said the smuggling attempt had been thwarted in coordination with the counterpart anti-drug agency in Oman and in coordination with the Saudi Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority.

The haul of the amphetamine drug tablets had been seized in a shipment of iron machinery inside a warehouse in Riyadh, the official added.

Nine recipients, including three Saudis, a Gulf national, a Syrian expatriate, two Bangladeshi and two Pakistani residents, were arrested in connection to the seized haul in that attempt.

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