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Saudi Arabia arrests 73 for attempting to smuggle illicit drugs

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Saudi Arabia has arrested 73 who were caught smuggling drugs across the country’s land borders, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The reported smuggling attempt happened over the four land borders in the regions of Jazan, Najran, Asir, and Tabuk.

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This included 62 tons of narcotic hashish, 315 kilograms of khat, and 194,300 amphetamine tablets, SPA reported.

The perpetrators have been identified as 20 Saudi nationals and 53 in “violation of the border security system,” SPA reported.

A similar operation was conducted earlier in May where authorities arrested 61 suspected of smuggling in the regions of Jazan, Najran and Asir.

The suspects attempted to smuggle 760 kilograms of hashish and 45.6 tons of the narcotic plant khat.

Drug smugglers detained by Saudi Arabia's border security forces. (SPA)
Drug smugglers detained by Saudi Arabia's border security forces. (SPA)

Authorities in the Kingdom take the war on drugs very seriously.

Earlier, SPA reported that border authorities will continue to tighten custom control over imports into Saudi Arabia.

In a major 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 stuffed inside the goods.

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.

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