634 arrested for bringing in banned drugs worth SR 886m

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Updated 15 December 2012
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634 arrested for bringing in banned drugs worth SR 886m

The Interior Ministry said yesterday that it had arrested 634 drug smugglers and traffickers including 207 Saudis during the past three months.
Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the ministry said the arrested criminals had attempted to smuggle various types of drugs worth SR 886.31 million.
The arrested men included 174 Yemenis and 253 foreigners belonged to 32 countries. The arrest took place during the Hijri months of Shawwal, Dul Qaada and Dul Hijjah.
“Saudi security officers faced armed confrontation from the smugglers,” the spokesman said. In such gun battles 12 policemen were injured while two died and four injured among the smugglers.
Spelling out the different types of drugs seized from smugglers, he said they included 7.4 kg of heroin, 10,623 kg of hashish and more than 1.55 million amphetamine tablets.
Police have also seized cash worth SR 11.07 million from the smugglers and traffickers during the operations that took place in various parts of the country.
The spokesman commended the efforts of border guards, customs officers and other security agents in preventing drug smuggling and arresting drug traffickers.
Gen. Al-Turki said security officers had arrested 762 people in Jamad Al-Awwal, Jamad Al-Thani, Rajab, Shaaban and Ramadan.
Drug abuse is a major problem facing the Kingdom. The government has adopt tough measures to prevent criminals from bringing narcotics into the Kingdom.
According to a previous report security forces seized SR1.7 billion worth of narcotics and arrested 681 men involved in drug smuggling and trafficking in four months.
“While 96 arrested men were Saudis, 585 of them belonged to 33 nationalities,” Al-Turki said in a press conference in Riyadh. Al-Turki said 20 officers were injured in 43 operations against drug smugglers during this period.
The forces seized 6.3 kg of heroin, 10.61 tons of hashish, 13.26 million narcotic pills, and 1.69 kg of cocaine, apart from SR16.73 million in cash from the smugglers, Al-Turki said.
One notable operation in the period led to the discovery of 100,000 amphetamine pills hidden in the island of Tiran off the coast of Tabuk after the interrogation of two Egyptian smugglers.
In another operation two Saudis, a Kuwaiti and a Jordanian were arrested for their involvement in smuggling 1 million amphetamine pills, he said. Al-Turki said three Umrah pilgrims were arrested for smuggling 40,000 narcotic pills.
He said officers foiled an attempt by a gang comprising five Iranians and six Pakistanis to smuggle half a ton of hashish across the Arabian Gulf. He said there were five cases of drug smugglers taking their families with them to deceive anti-narcotic officials.


Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 April 2018
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Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.