RIYADH: Security officials have stepped up their crackdown on drug trafficking syndicates, busting several gangs and arresting 953 smugglers including 695 foreigners during the last four months.
“The foreigners involved in rampant drug smuggling were from 35 different countries,” said Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior.
Addressing a press conference at the Security Forces Club in Riyadh, Al-Turki expressed concern over the high incidence of drug-related crimes, prompting the authorities to intensify their crackdown.
“The Saudi security forces fought with traffickers and opened fire in most of the cases, which resulted in fierce resistance from traffickers killing some 28 security personnel,” he said.
According to the gathered data, the police succeeded in confiscating 26 million amphetamine pills and more than 16 tons of hashish besides SR26 million in cash during the last four months, noted the spokesman.
Al-Turki said that all arrested people have been referred to the general investigation and persecution for trail.
“Yemen and Syria rank high on the list of countries that send the most shipments of drugs and narcotics to the Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The seizure list of contrabands and arms also include 46 million pills prohibited for use without medical prescriptions, 402kg of cocaine, 339 pieces of weapons including machine guns, 258 pistols, 45 guns along with 8,497 rounds of ammunitions.
“Yemen has the ugly distinction to dump intoxicating hashish into the Kingdom, while most of the amphetamines are trafficked via Syria,” Al-Turki said.
“Hashish continues to be smuggled almost exclusively overland through Saudi-Yemeni border,” he said.
He said that “about 90 to 100 percent of all hashish seized in the Kingdom have had their origin from across the Yemeni border.”
He, however, said that the stationing of Saudi troops across the southern Saudi-Yemeni border has led to “a remarkable drop” in the trafficking of narcotics.
Al-Turki also emphasized the important role of citizens and residents in curbing this social evil; and called them as partners in fighting the proliferation of drugs in the Kingdom.
The ministry spokesman called on the parents to watch their youngsters and stop them from indulging into drug abuse.
“The young segment of the society is more prone to intoxicants’ use as they are the soft target of traffickers. This is not the first incident of its kind.
A fortnight ago, the Customs Department at Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdul Aziz Airport foiled an attempt to smuggle 64,165 Captagon pills found hidden in four boxes.

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