17 smugglers arrested, half ton of hashish seized in Saudi drug busts

Saudi Customs detains a suspect and display confiscated drugs. (SPA)
Updated 06 July 2017

17 smugglers arrested, half ton of hashish seized in Saudi drug busts

JEDDAH: Customs officers at the Al-Ahsa airport in Saudi Arabia have thwarted an attempt to smuggle around 110,000 Captagon pills found hidden in the luggage of a passenger who was traveling to the Kingdom.
“During the inspection procedures of the passenger’s luggage, the customs officers were able to find the Captagon pills that were hidden inside boxes and were carefully placed in hidden areas inside a wooden table,” said Othman Al-Ghamdi, director general of customs at Al-Ahsa International Airport.
In the past two weeks, Saudi customs officers have managed to prevent the smuggling of more than half a ton of hashish, as well as arresting 17 smugglers in various operations.
Forces in southern Saudi Arabia have foiled many smugglers from implementing their plans, said Saher bin Mohammed Al-Harbi, official spokesperson of the Border Guards.
He added that many people have been arrested coming to Saudi Arabia from Yemen through the borders at Jazan and Najran, explaining that the authorities were very firm in dealing with the issue.
As a result of a recent campaign, Al-Harbi said authorities have arrested 11 Ethiopians, two Somalis, two Saudis and one Yemeni for smuggling-related charges, with a total of around 544 kilograms of narcotics found. The suspects were transferred to the relevant authorities so that legal procedures against them can continue.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.