Saudi Border Guards thwart attempts to smuggle hashish

Saudi border guards keep watch along the border with Yemen in the al-Khobh area in the southern Jizan province, in this October 3, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Saudi Border Guards thwart attempts to smuggle hashish

RIYADH: Saudi Border Guards in the southern border areas have foiled several attempts to smuggle more than half a ton of hashish, and arrested 30 smugglers of different nationalities in the Jazan and Najran areas over the past two weeks.
The Border Guard’s spokesman, Col. Saher Al-Harbi, said that these operations are part of the security forces efforts to combat drug trafficking across the Kingdom’s land and sea borders.
He said that during these operations nine Saudis, 13 Ethiopians, seven Yemenis and one Somali have been arrested and their attempts to smuggle hashish into the Kingdom have been effectively thwarted.
Al-Harbi announced that the seizures of drugs in their possession reached 536,422 grams of hashish.
He said that “the seizures and suspects were duly referred to the appropriate authorities to complete legal proceedings.”
Al-Harbi reiterated that the Border Guards will not hesitate to deal with such threats and are determined to protect the Kingdom’s borders from anything that threatens its security, stability and capabilities.


Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

Updated 16 July 2018
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Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

DAMMAM: A flight school in Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for women, following the end of a decades-long driving ban in the deeply conservative Muslim country where many social restrictions are easing.
Oxford Aviation Academy, a leading trainer and crew recruiter, has already received applications from hundreds of women hoping to start lessons in September at a new branch in the eastern city of Dammam.
“People used to travel abroad (to study aviation), which was difficult for women more than men,” said applicant Dalal Yashar, who aspires to work as a civil pilot.
“We are no longer living in the era were women were allowed (to work) in limited arenas. All avenues are now opened for women. If you have the appetite, you have the ability,” she said.
The academy is part of a $300 million project that includes a school for aircraft maintenance and an international center for flight simulators at the airport.
Students receive three years of academic and practical training, said executive director Othman Al-Moutairy.
A decades-long ban on women driving was lifted last month, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at transforming the economy and opening up its cloistered society.
The lifting of the prohibition was welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia, but it has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including against some of the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban.