Saudi Arabian officials have arrested an individual with 20 kilograms of narcotics in his possession on Monday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
Security patrols in the Asir region hindered the man’s attempt to smuggle ‘hashish,’ a drug derived from cannabis, arrested the defendant, and referred him to the appropriate authorities, according to SPA.
Authorities in the region have been cracking down on narcotics. In a strong stance against drug use, the Kingdom placed a ban on the import of fruit and vegetables from Lebanon in 2021 after Saudi Arabia’s Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle over five million pills of Captagon.
Captagon is a stimulant derived from a banned fenethylline-based drug.
According to an AFP count, more than 25 million pills of Captagon have been seized across the region since the start of the year alone.
More recently, on January 26, authorities in Saudi thwarted an attempt to distribute over one million amphetamine pills. They were seized from two citizens in the Taif governate.
It came a day after Lebanese officials seized a large quantity of Captagon hidden in a tea shipment bound for Saudi Arabia.
These attempts are occurring despite strict rules against smuggling, dealing, or using drugs in the Kingdom.
According to the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the severest punishment dealt to an individual involved in smuggling illicit narcotics is death.
Meanwhile, individuals who deal the substance face imprisonment, lashing, and/or a financial fine. Repeat offenders may receive a death sentence, according to the MOI.