Another feather in the cap for Saudi Customs

Updated 17 August 2016
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Another feather in the cap for Saudi Customs

JEDDAH: The Saudi Customs department, known in the region for foiling attempts to smuggle in drugs, ranked first among the World Customs Organization in the Middle East in confiscating items violating intellectual property rights, an official has said.
The number of smuggling attempts in member countries of the organization has reached 14,815 so far this year, said Faisal Al-Majeish, director of the regional office of the organization.
The regional office has 10 Arab members — Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Lebanon and Syria.
Al-Majeish said intellectual property violations topped the list of violations registered by the Customs Enforcement Network, CEN, followed by alcohol and drugs.
“The World Customs Organization strives to fight violations in all regions affiliated with it; the regional office offers help to customs bodies in order to detect various customs violations such as smuggling of antiquities, money laundering, human trafficking, smuggling of drugs and other banned substances,” said Al-Majeish.
Details like pictures of confiscated materials and methods of smuggling are registered on the CEN system. The regional office analyzes the data to find out new or abnormal smuggling methods and other useful information. New findings are shared through news bulletins or reports between local offices in member countries.
Al-Majeish said the regional office, as a representative of the World Customs Organization, coordinates with the organization’s secretariat to facilitate the work of member countries in exchanging information on customs violations.


Al-Majeish said the geographical location of the Middle East and the increased smuggling of drugs called for the setting up of a regional information network to guarantee the highest levels of efficiency in the fight against drugs.
All countries of the region participate actively to support the regional office to facilitate the gathering, coordination and analysis of information among local member countries and the rest of bodies and directorates related to fighting smuggling on the local and international levels.
Al-Majeish confirmed that the office achieved many goals in the field of analytical studies related to confiscated materials in the Middle East and other regions. He pointed out that some studies are done through the participation of two or more regional offices.
The office focuses on the implementation and activation of the best practices used on the regional and international levels in the field of conducting studies and analyzing results.
Al-Majeish said the regional office issues two types of warning bulletins. “Some are related to information about shipments that haven’t reached the target country at the time of preparing the bulletin, and are called news bulletins. These are used when there are suspicions about the existence of customs violations. Customs bodies in the Middle East exchange these bulletins, which helps in foiling smuggling attempts,” he added.


KSA supports sanctions on Iran: Al-Jubeir

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir at the inauguration of the Communication and Media Center. (Photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 1 min 36 sec ago
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KSA supports sanctions on Iran: Al-Jubeir

  • The US sanctions on Iran will become effective after a week as announced by the US State Department

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia supports all sanctions imposed on Iran due to its support for terrorism, violation of international agreements and its interference in the internal affairs of other countries, said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.
Speaking to Arab News on Sunday after the launch of the Communication and Media Center (CMC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Al-Jubeir blamed the Iranian government for the imposition of sanctions by the international community. “Tehran violates Security Council resolution on ballistic missiles and resolutions on supporting terrorism.”
For Iran to maintain normal ties with the international community, he said, Iran must respect international laws, the principle of good neighborliness and should follow the policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries.
The foreign minister said Iran must abandon its support for terrorism and must stop supplying ballistic missiles to terrorist militias who use these against civilians.
The US sanctions on Iran will become effective after a week as announced by the US State Department. In early August, sanctions will be imposed on Iran targeting its central bank, bullion market and the energy sector.
In the second phase starting in November, sanctions will be reportedly imposed on oil and foreign financial transactions.

Digital diplomacy
The launch of the CMC in Riyadh is an important milestone. The aim of the center is to establish a worldwide platform in digital diplomacy using 32 languages.
Ahmed Al-Towayan, the general manager of the center said: “New initiatives will be implemented to use artificial intelligence in relaying our message through media. The best is yet to come, as our country seeks to be the best and will not accept anything less.”
He said with the support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the center will reach new heights and help disseminate Saudi Arabia’s positive cultural message across the world.
“Through CMC we (will) work to have initiatives of cooperation and communication with other countries globally, which is a part of Vision 2030,” Al-Towayan said.
He said that all employees at the center are Saudis who are competent and have a noble message and goal.
Al-Jubeir said the center is working to summarize the Kingdom’s political positions (on different global and regional issues), whether they are related to the UN, the Arab League or bilateral relations and terrorism.
Al-Jubeir said the center is in contact with Saudi embassies around the world to coordinate efforts among them and to obtain information from these embassies and to provide information to them.