5 million amphetamine capsules seized, 11 held

Updated 28 December 2015

5 million amphetamine capsules seized, 11 held

JEDDAH: In one of the largest drug hauls in Saudi Arabia, security authorities in Riyadh have seized more than five million amphetamine capsules and arrested 11 people.
“The gang, comprising nine Saudis and two Sudanese, was about to hand over the contraband to their recipients in Riyadh,” Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the Interior Ministry, said.
A total of 5,173,000 amphetamine capsules, three grams of heroin, a machine gun and a pistol were seized from the smugglers, he said.
All those arrested have been referred to the competent authorities for completion of regulatory procedures, Maj. Gen. Al-Turki added.
In a related development, customs authorities at the Al-Haditha border crossing foiled attempts to smuggle 394,000 Captagon capsules hidden in two different vehicles, Ibrahim Al-Inizi, director-general of Al-Haditha Customs Center, said.
According to Al-Inizi, a private vehicle arrived at the border crossing and inspectors found 300,000 capsules hidden inside the tires of the vehicle during routine procedures.
Also, 94,000 Captagon capsules, wrapped in plastic bags, were found hidden in the dashboard of a truck, he said.
Smugglers try to bring in banned items that could harm the safety and health of individuals and the community, but the customs staff are always alert and foil such attempts, the official added.

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”