Al-Haramain charity founder cleared of all charges

Updated 02 December 2014
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Al-Haramain charity founder cleared of all charges

Director and Founder of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation Aqeel Al-Aqeel has been acquitted of all charges against him by the Riyadh Appeal court, his son Muhammad Al-Aqeel said.
Aqeel, who is known as "the Father of Charity Works" and ranked with top charity workers such as Abdul Rahman Al-Sameet, was removed from his position of the chairmanship of the foundation. His sacking followed an accusation of terror financing against him and the foundation leveled by the US administration, lawyer Abdul Rahman Al-Jerais said.
Al-Aqeel inaugurated the foundation in the Pakistani city of Karachi in 1988 with the aim of religious propagation and charity, but moved its headquarters to Riyadh in 1992. It had been operating in 50 countries and employed 5,000 workers, Sabq online daiy reported.
According to an earlier statement made by Al-Jeraisy, the foundation was managed by a board of administrators comprising distinguished religious scholars under the supervision of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments and Call and Guidance and was chaired by Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh Al-Asheikh.
The foundation undertook charitable activities such as sponsorship of orphans, preachers, imams and teachers as well as publishing and distributing Islamic books, like translations of the Holy Qur'an, Hadith and other religious writings in Muslim countries.
Al-Jeraisy added that the foundation also undertook building and supervising mosques, schools, Islamic centers, scholarships for students in poor Muslim countries, organizing Shariah courses, distribution of Ramadan breakfasts and blankets in the winter.
As part of its activities, the foundation also distributed food, clothes and medicine for victims of wars and natural calamities all over the world. It also established 1,200 mosques, both in the Kingdom and abroad.
The foundation, with its vast propagation and charity potential was an eye sore for Christian missionary organizations. It served as a bastion against the efforts of missionaries to exploit poverty, disease and wars to tempt Muslims away from their religion. It received $50 millions worth of donations annually which was equal to half of the donations received by all other charities in the Kingdom.


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 59 min 58 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.