Saudi authority seizes Captagon pills worth up to $115 million

Saudi authority seizes Captagon pills worth up to $115 million
The drugs haul had an estimated street value of approximately between $4.6 million and $115m (ZATCA)
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Updated 11 May 2023
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Saudi authority seizes Captagon pills worth up to $115 million

Saudi authority seizes Captagon pills worth up to $115 million

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority on Thursday foiled an attempt to smuggle 461,164 Captagon pills through Al-Haditha port.
The drugs haul had an estimated street value of approximately between $4.6 million and $115m according to research published in the International Addiction Review Journal, which said users paid in the range of $10-$25 a pill.
According to authorities, the tablets were found stashed inside shipments marked as car parts that were delivered to the kingdom on a truck.


The four consignees of the shipment were arrested and coordination has been made with General Directorate for Narcotics after the seizure operation at the port was completed.
Amphetamines are largely used by young men and teenaged boys across the Middle East, and the money raised through the sale of all narcotics are usually ploughed back into the drug trade although some find their way into organized crime and terrorism.

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Saudi space agency, Axiom Space sign development agreement 

Saudi space agency, Axiom Space sign development agreement 
Updated 01 December 2023
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Saudi space agency, Axiom Space sign development agreement 

Saudi space agency, Axiom Space sign development agreement 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Space Agency and Axiom Space signed an agreement to develop Saudi talent in the field of space.

Axiom Space, a company specializing in developing human spaceflight technologies, will provide training and on-the-job opportunities, in addition to exchanging knowledge, skills and expertise in the fields of human spaceflight.

The agreement was signed during a specialized Saudi delegations’s visit to the US headed by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha.

This memorandum is expected to enhance educational and professional development opportunities for students and employees, deepen cooperation and maximize mutual benefit between the two sides, the Saudi Press Agency said.


Saudi defense minister holds talks with UN envoy to Yemen and Iranian military chief

Saudi defense minister holds talks with UN envoy to Yemen and Iranian military chief
Updated 01 December 2023
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Saudi defense minister holds talks with UN envoy to Yemen and Iranian military chief

Saudi defense minister holds talks with UN envoy to Yemen and Iranian military chief
  • ‘We reviewed the Kingdom’s efforts to support the peace process in Yemen,’ Prince Khalid bin Salman tweeted after his meeting with envoy Hans Grundberg

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s minister of defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman, and the UN’s special envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, on Thursday discussed the latest developments in the conflict in Yemen.

“We reviewed the Kingdom’s efforts to support the peace process in Yemen, as well as the road map between the Yemeni sides to reach a comprehensive and sustainable political solution, under UN supervision,” the prince said in a message posted on social media site X after the meeting in Riyadh.

The Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, and the director general of the Office of the Minister of Defense, Hisham bin Abdulaziz bin Saif, were also present at the meeting, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The UN participants included Linnea Hincks, special assistant to Grundberg; Roxaneh Bazergan, chief of political affairs in the envoy’s office; and April Alley, an adviser to the envoy.

Also on Thursday, Prince Khalid received a telephone call from Maj. Gen. Mohammed Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, during which they reviewed the relationship between their countries in military and defense fields and discussed issues of mutual concern.


Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 

Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 
Updated 30 November 2023
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Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 

Saudi reserve participates in SGI, COP28 conferences 

RIYADH: Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Natural Reserve Development Authority is participating at the co-current Saudi Green Initiative Gallery and UN Climate Change Conference — COP28 — in Dubai, today. 

The reserve will showcase its drone-based program, the biggest of its kind, in protecting biodiversity in Saudi Arabia, for being more effective and efficient in environmental activities and having a lower carbon footprint, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. 

It has already contributed to raising the efficiency of environmental monitoring and protection teams by more than 220 percent.

Drones have also helped to cut carbon emissions by more than 66 percent by reducing dependence on fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

An interactive screen will also display details of the pioneering Vegetation Cover Evaluation Project, which uses remote-sensor technologies, as well as many initiatives dedicated to expanding the vegetation cover and afforestation. 

All of ITBA’s projects and initiatives are fully aligned with the national goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and dedicated to preserving the vegetation cover and biodiversity, including rare and endangered species, as part of broader environmental protection efforts.

The Saudi Green Initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions, plant 10 billion trees in the Kingdom over the next decades and protect 30 percent of the Kingdom’s land and marine areas by 2030, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

It is worth noting that IBTA spans more than 91,500 sq km, making it the second largest royal reserve in the Kingdom.

Known for its picturesque nature and biodiversity, the reserve is home to 138 wild species, including Rhim Gazelles, Oryxes, and more than 179 wild plants, including Ziziphus, Acacia and Arta trees.


International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 

International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 
Updated 30 November 2023
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International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 

International Diriyah Forum to promote cultural heritage 

JEDDAH: The “Diriyah International Forum,” organized through collaboration between the Diriyah Gate Development Authority and the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, will be held from Dec. 10-11.

The forum, themed “Diriyah: A Meeting Point of Cultures,” will bring together a distinguished gathering of scholars, thinkers and researchers.

The two-day forum aims to encourage creative thinking and promote collaboration between different specialties and experiences, and promote a global cultural and tourist destination.

The focus will be on reviewing the architectural style of Diriyah, especially after the opening of the historic Turaif district, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and Bujairi Quarter, the destination for fine dining in Diriyah, among other heritage sites.

The main topics to be covered during the diverse sessions of the forum include three key themes.

The first, titled “Architectural and Artistic Intersections,” explores the influences that shaped the distinctive architectural character of the region, from traditional mud buildings to the incorporation of modern design elements.

The second theme is “Historical Intersections,” focusing on prominent figures and significant historical events that contributed to shaping Diriyah’s history

The third is “Exploring the Past,” addressing the importance of archaeological discoveries, including artifacts and remnants of settlements while highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The forum contributes to shedding light on efforts to protect and preserve the history and heritage of Diriyah and celebrate it.


KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 

KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 
Updated 30 November 2023
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KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 

KSrelief sends 14 ambulances to Gaza 

RIYADH: Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by Saudi aid agency KSrelief are en route to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday. 

The ambulances are carrying crucial medical supplies including biometric devices, oxygen devices, first aid kits, burn treatment kits, transport beds, splints and straps.

Rafah, overseen by Egypt, is the only crossing into Gaza not controlled by Israel.

KSrelief has finalized four cooperation agreements with international organizations to provide relief worth $40 million for Palestinians in Gaza.

On Thursday, the 24th Saudi relief plane departed from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to Al-Arish International Airport in Egypt.

On board the plane are 31 tons of aid supplies, including food, shelter and medical provisions. 

This initiative is part of an ongoing campaign dedicated to alleviating the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza.