Saudi authorities foil biggest amphetamine smuggling attempt

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Saudi Arabia’s security forces seized around 47 million tablets of amphetamine, in one of the biggest smuggling attempts of amphetamine into the Kingdom in a single operation, the General Directorate of Narcotics Control (GDNC) announced Wednesday.

“Eight residents invovled in the smuggling operation were arrested, and 46,916,480 million pills of amphetamine hidden in a shipment of flour bags were seized,” GDNC spokesman Major Mohammed al-Nujaidi said is a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

According to al-Nujaidi, the shipment arrived at the Riyadh Dry Port and was later transferred to a warehouse.

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Security forces raided the warehouse and eight residents - six Syrians and two Pakistanis – were taken into custody where legal measures will be taken against them, al-Nujaidi added.


Al-Nujaidi added that the quantity of the seized tablets is the “biggest of its kind in a single smuggling operation.”

He also reaffirmed that security forces “firmly and decisively” follow-up on the activities of criminal networks that target the security of the Kingdom and its people with drugs.

Eight residents who participated in the smuggling operation were arrested, August 31, 2022. (SPA)
Eight residents who participated in the smuggling operation were arrested, August 31, 2022. (SPA)


Saudi authorities have upped their measures against the smuggling of narcotics into the Kingdom.

Several shipments of Captagon and amphetamine tablets are regularly seized with mainly Syria and Lebanon as the sources of origin.

The General Directorate of Narcotics Control (GDNC) announced that the  drugs were hidden in a shipment of flour bags, August 31, 2022. (SPA)
The General Directorate of Narcotics Control (GDNC) announced that the drugs were hidden in a shipment of flour bags, August 31, 2022. (SPA)

In response to the increased smuggling attempts, the Kingdom announced in 2021 that it was going to ban the imports of Lebanese fruits and vegetables. The decision came after Saudi customs foiled an attempt to smuggle over five million pills of Captagon stuffed inside pomegranates.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari said on Tuesday that since 2015, Saudi Arabia has seized 700 million narcotic pills and hundreds of kilograms of hashish smuggled from or through Lebanon.

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