Iranians to come for Haj from other countries: Riyadh

Iranian female pilgrims walk outside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, in this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 20 August 2016
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Iranians to come for Haj from other countries: Riyadh

MADINAH: A number of Iranian pilgrims will be coming to perform Haj from other countries, even though Iran has refused to send pilgrims this year.
A source at the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has revealed that arrangements have been made to receive the Iranian pilgrims in accordance with usual procedures made for countries from where they are coming.
This itself is proof that Saudi Arabia never discriminates between pilgrims, whichever nationality they belong to.
Iran was bent on depriving its citizens from performing Haj. The Kingdom has blamed Tehran for politicizing the issue and making unjust demands for the pilgrimage.
The ministry, meanwhile, announced that 129,442 pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom as of Wednesday night, of which 44,56 came via the Jeddah airport and 88,833 via the Madinah airport.
A noticeable increase in flights is expected, with around 1,438 Haj flights, an increase of about 4 percent compared to last year.
The operational movement at the airport increases gradually as international flights from 37 airlines are received, reaching a peak of 99 flights on the 15th of Dul Qaada, said.
Flights then continue to decline gradually until the 4th of Dul Hijjah, with about 43 flights, thus marking the completion of the Haj reception plan, the ministry added.


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 21 min 50 sec ago
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Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

RIYADH: The Halat Ammar Customs on the Kingdom’s northwestern border prevented two attempts to smuggle a quantity of 184,737 Fenethylline tablets, also known by the brand name of Captagon.
The pills were discovered hidden on two buses that were transporting passengers to the Kingdom’s holy sites.
Mohammed Qaisi, the customs general manager, said the first bus was carrying 47 passengers and after the customs procedures were finalized and the passengers were processed, a bag containing 100,000 tablets was found.
“The narcotics were hidden in an artistic way and were placed inside the bag’s lining,” he said.
Qaisi also said the second attempt was thwarted in a similar way. The other bus was transporting 31 passengers, on which a total of 84,737 Captagon pills were seized.
Saudi Arabia usually witnesses a rise of smuggling attempts during the Umrah and Hajj seasons, as they are exploited by smugglers trying to transport narcotics and other contraband. 
Saudi Customs said it is exerting great efforts and working with all its human and technical capabilities to prevent the entry of illegal substances.