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According to the Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Mansour Al-Turki, a total of drugs worth more than SR5 billion was seized recently by the Saudi Security Forces.
The 362 newly alleged drug smugglers and traffickers include 78 Saudi citizens, with the rest being foreigners. Al-Turki said, “The suspects were arrested in 31 operations in October and November this year”. He announced that “during these operations, security forces seized 4.83 kg of raw hashish, 5.82 kg of hashish, and 4.92 million Captagon pills with a value of more than SR866.77 million”.
In late September, a criminal used a glider to bypass the security fence that separated the kingdom from Iraq by flying over it. However, the guards at the Saudi border were able to track him down and deal with him in a timely manner. Consequently, the pilot and nine others who were awaiting the drug shipment in Saudi Arabia were arrested and gliders were suspended from operating in the country.
According to Arab News, 475 people were arrested between July and September due to their involvement in smuggling drugs worth more than SR1.71 billion, with 204 of them being Saudis and 72 being Yemenis. In one of the operations, security personnel faced armed resistance that resulted in the death of Majed bin Mubarak Al-Rahmani, a security officer and the injury of 8 of his colleagues.
“Al-Turki also exposed 503 suspects on drug smuggling related activities and were arrested between March and May last year. He said the 252 were Saudi citizens and the remaining 251 were from countries such as “Yemen, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Jordan, Somalia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Sudan, Syria, India, Ethiopia, Tunis, Djibouti, Lebanon, Chad, Iraq, Turkey, Mali, and Nigeria.”
A quote by Al-Turki reads, “Most of the drug smuggling activities took place through Saudi Arabia’s northern border.” He also said, “99 percent of drug smuggling operations take place through trucks”; although he denied all accusations that the negligence of the customs officers’ was one of the main reasons for the increasing drug smuggling activities.
Lastly, according to Al-Sulami from Arab News, Al-Turki said, “Saudi Arabia is willing to provide information on drug smuggling activities to other countries in order to get rid of this social evil.” The spokesman believes that many students consume drugs during examination periods to ease their stress levels; however, he denied all suggestions that drug traffickers were targeting Saudi youth.
Major General Mansour Al-Turki announced that security forces seized SR25 million in cash from drug smugglers during 2011; yet, he praised the cooperation between the kingdom’s Security Apparatus and Customs Department in their efforts to prevent the drug smuggling attempts into the country.