Saudi Border Guards thwart attempts to smuggle cannabis

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Aside from protecting the Kingdom against illegal migrants and armed intruders, Saudi Border Guards also guard against drug traffickers. (SPA)
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Aside from protecting the Kingdom against illegal migrants and armed intruders, Saudi Border Guards also guard against drug traffickers. (SPA)
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Aside from protecting the Kingdom against illegal migrants and armed intruders, Saudi Border Guards also guard against drug traffickers. (SPA)
Updated 07 July 2019

Saudi Border Guards thwart attempts to smuggle cannabis

  • A total of 1,273 kilograms of cannabis had been confiscated between June 5 and July 5, 2019

JEDDAH: The Border Guards in the southern Saudi regions of Jazan, Najran and Asir foiled numerous cannabis smuggling attempts in June.

This comes within the extensive work done by the Border Guards foiling attempts to smuggle drugs in all its forms and protecting the youth of the Kingdom from their dangers.

Border Guards spokesman Lt. Col. Misfer bin Ghannam Al-Quraini said that in total, 1,273 kilograms of cannabis had been confiscated between June 5 and July 5.

He added that 48 people of different nationalities were arrested, with 28 Ethiopians, 15 Yemenis, three Somalis and two Saudi citizens detained.

The arrests were made after the suspects were caught crossing the Kingdom’s southern border. Al-Quraini said.

“The suspects, along with the drugs seized, were referred to the competent authorities to carry on with the necessary procedures,” he said.

“The Border Guards are determined to protect the Kingdom’s borders from all those targeting its security, stability and capability. They are ready to thwart any smuggling and infiltration attempts and enforce the laws in the face of those who violate them,” he said. 

 

 


Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

Updated 18 October 2019

Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

  • Sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was found positive of Rift Valley fever
  • Livestock imports from Somalia had earlier been banned, says Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced a ban on importing livestock from Sudan and Djibouti.

The ministry said the ban is a response to the announcement of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) concerning documented cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Sudan. 

In addition, a sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was positive and thus was not cleared.

According to the ministry, Saudi Arabia imported 5 million heads of cattle from Sudan and 700,000 from Djibouti during the last Hijri year, prior to the ban.

The spokesman for the ministry, Abdullah Abalkhail, said that alternative sources include GCC, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Georgia, Portugal, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Romania, as well as Chinese Mongolia, Argentine, Brazil and the US.

These countries can hardly compete with African states, said Al-Jadani, due to prices, different weather and customer demand. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said 5 ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.
  • He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.
  • Prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected, said Al-Jadani.
  • Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of rift valley fever were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and northern Darfur. 

The domestic livestock, he added, covers the demand of a very low percentage of the market and the price of local sheep are very high.

All shipments are examined at their point of arrival and only healthy animals are allowed into the local market.

 

Regulations

The ministry has already banned livestock imports from Somalia.

“The ministry studies each country individually to put health regulations in line with the OIE and we follow up daily reports from the OIE to reduce the spread of the diseases among animals and people,” Abalkhail said.

Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said five ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.

He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.

According Al-Jadani, prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected in the coming period.

The ministry has called on those working in the sector to contact officials on the hotline 8002470000 if they find any suspicious cases.

A fine up to SR1 million ($267,000) will be imposed on any company contravening the ban.

Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of RVF were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and Northern Darfur. According to the World Health Organization Sudan witnessed a huge RVF outbreak in 2007, while in Saudi Arabia RVF spread back in 2000.

The World Bank noted previously that six zoonotic diseases between 1997 and 2009 have led to a loss of $80 billion.

Officials believe that only through collaboration between various authorities in the health, biology and environment sectors the disease can be controlled.