SCTA explores Al-Ula finds

Updated 15 June 2015
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SCTA explores Al-Ula finds

RIYADH: A team of archaeologists from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) recently conducted an exploratory mission to the summit of the Umm Darj mountain in Al-Ula.
The explorers, headed by Hussein Abu Hassan, STCA vice president for antiquities and museums, said that the site is one of the important archaeological sites on the slopes where inscriptions dating back to the beginning of the fifth century BC of Allihiyaniah civilization are found.
According to him, the site houses various statues, altars and inscriptions, and is also marked with ancient and Islamic inscriptions.
He said the mission needed a geological survey using aircraft to get to the site due to the great degree of difficulty in accessing and climbing to the summit of the mountain.
Abu Hassan said that SCTA, under the leadership of Prince Sultan bin Salman, is committed to exploring these important historical sites where they can collect valuable artifacts that are hidden.
The mountain is located in the northwest of the city of Al-Ula at the entrance of the Saq Valley opposite Al-Khraibah mountain. It was named Darj because of the presence of a sculpted staircase at the foot of the mountain.
Al-Ula Mayor Saad Al-Suhaimi was also briefed on the team’s mission.


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 19 May 2019
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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.