Ministry cracks down on online arms dealers

Updated 18 June 2014

Ministry cracks down on online arms dealers

The Interior Ministry is closely monitoring and tracking down arms trafficking through the Internet and social networking sites.
Mansour Al-Turki, the ministry’s spokesman, said violators — either individuals or website operators — will be treated as criminals.
He pointed out that trade in weapons and its accessories are prohibited in the Kingdom.
Al-Turki said competent security agencies regularly follow up and track the information and data available on trade in weapons on the Internet and social networking sites.
According to local media reports, the ministry discovered 31 accounts on Instagram that posed social and security risk “because some of the users were openly using the sites to trade in weapons.”
The sites have followers, and contain photos of the different kinds of arms and ammunitions such as Kalashnikov rifles and guns of all sizes ready for sale.
The prices of the arms displayed on the sites range between SR1,700 and SR25, 000 depending on the type of weapon.
“Such accounts are a threat to the internal security and society in general because criminals and teenagers can obtain them easily despite the strict control and monitoring of the Ministry of Interior on the borders to prevent arms smuggling into the Kingdom,” he said.
As per the law, any person who is found guilty of manufacturing, assembling, selling or purchasing such weapons and ammunition, and who has in his possession such arms with the intent to disturb internal security, will be jailed for up to 30 years and will be fined up to SR300 000.
In case the individual is found in possession of weapons of war or ammunition, he is liable to either imprisonment of 25 years or a fine of SR150,000 or both.
A person guilty of possessing an individual weapon or ammunition without a license can face a jail term of up to two years or a fine of SR7,000 or both.
The Interior Ministry represented by the General Directorate for the Border Guards is making extensive efforts to combat arms smuggling. During the past six months, the directorate has succeeded in seizing 2,089 pieces of weapons.

DiplomaticQuarter: US ambassador lauds Saudi Arabia for successful Hajj season

Updated 18 min 16 sec ago

DiplomaticQuarter: US ambassador lauds Saudi Arabia for successful Hajj season

  • The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season

RIYADH: US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid has lauded the Kingdom for its successful and safe organization of the curtailed Hajj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season and expressed his appreciation for the country’s generosity.

“On behalf of the US Mission to Saudi Arabia, I extend our best wishes to all Muslims in Saudi Arabia and around the world on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha,” Abizaid said in a statement.

He thanked the Saudi leadership for the care and services provided to the specially selected group of around 1,000 pilgrims of various nationalities allowed to perform Hajj.

“I would also like to express our deep appreciation to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten, and Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh for the government’s actions to protect the health of those participating in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. 

“I also extend our gratitude to the people of Saudi Arabia for their kind hospitality, friendship, and generosity during Eid and throughout the eight decades of our two countries’ close partnership. May the prayers for peace of all people around the world be heard,” he added.

Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) also commended Saudi Arabia for its efforts in organizing Hajj.

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the steps taken by the Kingdom to ensure the safety of pilgrims and said the preventive measures had set an example for other countries to follow in working toward lifting COVID-19 restrictions.