Saudi customs officials find 1.6kg of cocaine in smugglers’ stomachs

Saudi customs officials find 1.6kg of cocaine in smugglers’ stomachs
(Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority)
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Updated 27 May 2021

Saudi customs officials find 1.6kg of cocaine in smugglers’ stomachs

Saudi customs officials find 1.6kg of cocaine in smugglers’ stomachs

JEDDAH: Customs officers in Saudi Arabia foiled attempts by two airline passengers to smuggle more than 1.6 kilograms of cocaine into the Kingdom.

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah said inspectors suspicious of a female passenger arriving in the Kingdom carried out an X-ray that revealed 60 capsules in her stomach. They were found to contain 683.5 grams of the drug.

In a similar case, this time involving a male passenger, inspectors found 80 capsules containing 918.5 grams of cocaine.

The authority said swallowing capsules of drugs such as heroin or cocaine is a common method used by smugglers. It added that customs officers at land, sea and airports work tirelessly to foil the attempts and seize shipments in an effort to maintain security and protect Saudi society.


Saudi online platforms bridge gap between creatives, inquisitive minds

 These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
Updated 27 July 2021

Saudi online platforms bridge gap between creatives, inquisitive minds

 These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
  • Offering people easy ways to learn new skills, explore methods to promote self, business

JEDDAH: Online platforms are helping smaller creative businesses to pass on their knowledge to interested parties. Two such platforms that have been attracting attention from Saudi locals are Suplift and Upgrade.

These online platforms began popping up on social media a few years ago with experiences and activities offered with a registration fee.
Fadi Yahya, the founder of Suplift, told Arab News that the question that inspired Suplift was “How can I ask people with skills to share them with other people who are interested in learning?”

I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities.

Fadi Yahya, Founder of Suplift

“I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities,” he said. “It was extremely hard for an average person to try any activity they like.”
This led to Yahya giving over a few years of his life to build a business from scratch that allowed profits to be given back to a talented person rather than an organization. “Our job was to make the structure simple.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Suplift extends across 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 experiences on offer. This has helped 10,000 people to make money simply by following their passion.

• Upgrade-sa.com’s targeted audience is people who want to learn new hobbies and explore different worlds, as well as business owners who want to build more connections and move toward expanding their work.

He said there were many challenges as the team was building a new market. “We are not running away or finding the easy way out. One thing we had trouble with was the lack of experience.”
Yahya said that to enable the experiences, the team had to find locations, work out the structure, marketing, customer service, technology, management, as well as ways of working with the government.
The aim of Suplift is to promote the idea of having hobbies. “The thing I am most proud of is that we help so many people make money. Many people say that passion can not help you make money, but I think it is needed in order to help the Saudi economy move further.”
Suplift extends across 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 experiences on offer. This has helped 10,000 people to make money simply by following their passion.
“Now that people understand that they can make money doing what they love, we will have more artists, golfers, divers, archers and so many more,” he said. “This makes me proud of my team and myself.”

When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek out the trainers — training and being creative are two different things.

Mohammad Mujahid, COO of Upgrade-sa.com

Mohammad Mujahid, COO of Upgrade-sa.com, told Arab News that their platform’s targeted audience is people who want to learn new hobbies and explore different worlds, as well as business owners who want to build more connections and move toward expanding their work.
The early days of the business were very challenging, Mujahid said. “When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek out the trainers — training and being creative are two different things. So now when the trainers or upgraders, as we call them, come to us, we provide them with guidelines so they can spread their knowledge.”
These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector — supporting Saudi economic diversification objectives and building a prosperous future.


Saudi Arabia launches meat distribution project in Albania

 Saudi aid agency launches meat distribution project in Albania. (SPA)
Saudi aid agency launches meat distribution project in Albania. (SPA)
Updated 5 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches meat distribution project in Albania

 Saudi aid agency launches meat distribution project in Albania. (SPA)
  • Tirana Mayor Redjan Krali expressed his gratitude to the Saudi leadership for the unlimited support extended toward the Albanian people during the pandemic

TIRANA: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) on Monday began distribution of post-Hajj sacrificial meat in Albanian capital Tirana.
The project was launched at a special ceremony attended by Saudi Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzy and several key Albanian officials.
The Saudi envoy it is part of the humanitarian relief projects carried out by the Kingdom through KSrelief in Albania.
Tirana Mayor Redjan Krali expressed his gratitude to the Saudi leadership for the unlimited support extended toward the Albanian people during the pandemic. He lauded Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian works around the globe. The center has implemented 1,556 projects, at a value of more than $5 billion, in 59 countries since its inception in May 2015. 


Virus recoveries pass half-a-million mark in Saudi Arabia

The ministry urged all residents eligible for the vaccine to register and receive it as a necessity to not only protect themselves, but ensure the safety of the community. (SPA)
The ministry urged all residents eligible for the vaccine to register and receive it as a necessity to not only protect themselves, but ensure the safety of the community. (SPA)
Updated 42 min 9 sec ago

Virus recoveries pass half-a-million mark in Saudi Arabia

The ministry urged all residents eligible for the vaccine to register and receive it as a necessity to not only protect themselves, but ensure the safety of the community. (SPA)
  • More than 25 million vaccine doses have been administered so far at a rate of 288,858 per day

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has reported 1,299 new recoveries from COVID-19, raising the total number over the course of the pandemic to 500,428, passing the half million mark.

The Kingdom’s recovery rate now stands at 96.3 percent and rising.
Community response in coordination with the Kingdom’s health authorities has helped stabilize the daily confirmed case count through precautionary measures and high immunization rates. As a result, the number of recoveries has continued a steady rise in recent weeks.
On Monday, the Saudi Health Ministry announced 1,252 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of cases over the course of the pandemic to 519,395.
The Makkah region topped the case count with 316 cases, while the Riyadh region reported 265, the Eastern Province 169 and Asir 145. Jouf remains the region with the lowest case count, recording only three cases on Monday.
The number of active cases continues to fluctuate between the 10,000-11,000 mark. With today’s numbers, there are now 10,788 active cases, 1,424 of which are in critical care, a rise of 16 in the past 24 hours.

FASTFACTS

• The Kingdom’s recovery rate now stands at 96.3 percent and rising.

• On Monday, the Health Ministry recorded 1,252 new COVID-19 cases.

• The number of active cases continues to fluctuate between 10,000 and 11,000.

• There were 12 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Monday.

There were 12 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Monday, bringing the Kingdom’s death toll to 8,179.
As part of precautionary measures, 90,510 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number completed to more than 24.4 million.
More than 25 million vaccine doses have been administered so far at a rate of 288,858 per day. So far, 71.8 percent of the Kingdom’s population have received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 18 percent have received both doses.
Ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline requiring visitors and employees of government, private and commercial entities and establishments to be immunized by at least one vaccine dose or recovered from an infection, the number of registrations for vaccine appointments has surged.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said in Sunday’s press conference that more time slots have been made available for appointments.
The ministry urged all residents eligible for the vaccine to register and receive it as a necessity to not only protect themselves, but ensure the safety of the community.


Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief delivers COVID-19 medical aid to Uruguay

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief delivers COVID-19 medical aid to Uruguay
Updated 49 min 33 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief delivers COVID-19 medical aid to Uruguay

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief delivers COVID-19 medical aid to Uruguay
  • The supplies included 53 respirators and more than 2.3 million surgical masks
  • The aid also included protective clothing, medical gloves and other preventive supplies

RIYADH: Medical aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Uruguay on Monday to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The equipment, sent by the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSrelief), included 53 respirators and more than 2.3 million surgical masks, in addition to protective clothing, medical gloves and other preventive supplies.
The aid was delivered on behalf of KSrelief by Raed Al-Harqan, the acting charge d’affairs at the Saudi Embassy in Uruguay. It was accepted in the capital, Montevideo, by Pablo Picabea, the Ministry of Public Health’s deputy director of general inspection.
Al-Harqan said the assistance reflects the Kingdom’s relationship with Uruguay and its pioneering humanitarian role, and the desire of King Salman and the Saudi government to help alleviate the suffering of people affected by the pandemic.
It is part of the aid being provided by Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, in support of international efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.


Saudi IT experts weigh in on Clubhouse data breach reports

Photo/Shutterstock
Photo/Shutterstock
Updated 55 min 30 sec ago

Saudi IT experts weigh in on Clubhouse data breach reports

Photo/Shutterstock
  • Until recently, new users had to obtain an invite from an existing user to access the application

JEDDAH: Experts in Saudi Arabia have reacted to reports that audio-chatting social platform Clubhouse has experienced a data breach and billions of users’ phone numbers have been offered for sale on the darknet.
Clubhouse denies the reports, however, and said the phone numbers being offered for sale were created randomly.
Reports over the weekend suggested that Clubhouse data had been accessed and hackers had obtained more than 3.8 billion phone numbers from the app’s servers.
Abdulsalam Al-Hamzani, a Saudi cybersecurity expert and instructor, told Arab News that if the reports are accurate, the application could have been compromised.
He said: “In a hacked application, any type of information we share with the app is exposed to the risk of being leaked,” whether it is phone numbers, access to a phone’s microphone and camera, or any pictures and videos that are shared.
Denying reports about data breach, a spokesman for the app told the Indo-Asian News Service: “There are a series of bots generating billions of random phone numbers.”

HIGHLIGHT

Reports over the weekend suggested that Clubhouse data had been accessed and hackers had obtained more than 3.8 billion phone numbers from the app’s servers.

 “In the event that one of these random numbers happens to exist on our platform due to mathematical coincidence, Clubhouse’s API (application programming interface) returns no user identifiable information.”
Al-Hamzani said that Clubhouse appeals to many people because it offers something new.
“Many applications lack one thing: An audio chat room,” he said. Its conference call-style format has been described as an online “majlis,” or a sitting room where people with common interests can gather and share their thoughts.
Until recently, new users had to obtain an invite from an existing user to access the application. Al-Hamzani said this gave Clubhouse added credibility.
“These two factors (the audio chat room format and the exclusivity of the invite policy) are what helped spread the application,” he added.
Mohammad Al-Kadi, a 35-year-old Saudi who is a senior consultant in cybersecurity, said it can be difficult for people to keep track of how their information is used or exposed online but there are steps they can take to reduce the risks.
“Avoid using your personal information on social media and websites as much as you can,” he told Arab News.