Saudi customs thwart attempts to smuggle more than 2.5m Captagon pills

Saudi Arabia's customs thwarted two attempts to smuggle over 2.5 mn Captagon pills into the Kingdom. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 August 2019

Saudi customs thwart attempts to smuggle more than 2.5m Captagon pills

Tabuk, Saudi Arabia: Saudi customs managed to thwart two attempts to smuggle a large quantity of Captagon pills found hidden in two vehicles that came in to the Kingdom via a port.
2,579,000 Captagon pills were found hidden in two vehicles: one truck and a private vehicle.
The Director General of Al-Hadithah Customs, Abdul Razzaq Al-Zahrani, said that a private vehicle, driven by a passenger and accompanied by his family of two children and his wife, was inspected by the customs controller, who suspected the vehicle and its owner.
The vehicle was thoroughly searched and 553 Captagon pills were found hidden in several sections of the vehicle, including in the spare tyre.
Al-Zahrani added that customs also thwarted another attempt to smuggle 26,000 Captagon pills found hidden inside a fire extinguisher on one of the trucks.
The director general said that the smugglers were seeking to exploit everything to enter the contraband into the Kingdom, including the exploitation of their family, whom were with him as an attempt to deceive the customs officers.


Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

Updated 14 min 30 sec ago

Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

  • US official says all options, including a military response, are on the table
  • Washington blames Iran for the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field

RIYADH: Iran provided the weapons used to strike two Saudi Aramco facilities in the Kingdom, the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen said Tuesday.

“The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran,” coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh, adding they were now probing “from where they were fired.”

The coalition supports the Yemen government in the war against the Iran-backed Houthi militants, which claimed they had carried out the attack on Saturday.

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US officials have said Iran was behind the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field, and that the raid did not come from Yemen, but from the other direction.

“This strike didn't come from Yemen territory as the Houthi militia are pretending,” Maliki said, adding that an investigation was ongoing into the attacks and their origins.

The Houthis have carried out scores of attacks against Saudi Arabia using drones and ballistic missiles.

Al-Maliki labelled the Houthis “a tool in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the terrorist regime of Iran.”

The attacks against Abqaiq, the world's largest oil processing facility, and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia knocked out nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

Crude prices rocketed on Monday by more than 10 percent.

Iran has denied involvement, something Trump questioned Sunday in a tweet saying “we'll see?”

A satellite image of Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais. (US Government/DigitalGlobe/ via Reuters)

On Sunday, the US president raised the possibility of military retaliation after the strikes, saying Washington was “locked and loaded” to respond.

The US has offered a firm response in support of its ally, and is considering increasing its intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia as a result of the attack, Reuters reported.

A US official told AP that all options, including a military response, were on the table, but added that no decisions had been made.

The US government late Monday produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at the oil processing plant at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field. Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Also on Monday, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that he had spoken over the weekend with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and an Iraqi defense official about the recent attack on the oil facilities.

Iraq said the attacks were not launched from its territory and on Sunday Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told him that Washington possesses information that backs up the Iraqi government’s denial.

Condemnation of the attacks continued from both within Saudi Arabia and from around the world.

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council called Tuesday for concerted efforts to hold those behind the attacks accountable.

Meanwhile, the UN’s special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais had consequences well beyond the region and risked dragging Yemen into a “regional conflagration.”