Egypt warns its nationals of harsh anti-drug penalties in Saudi Arabia

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Feb 2019

Egypt has warned its nationals against possessing banned narcotics or controlled drugs in Saudi Arabia amid a series of hefty sentences issued against a number of Egyptians for drug-related convictions recently.

Egypt's "foreign ministry warns against the consequences of obtaining or possessing narcotic substances or drugs prohibited under Saudi laws while traveling or residing in the kingdom," the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry has published a list of controlled substances in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, including a number of pharmaceutical drugs.

Drug-related crimes are punishable by up to death under Saudi laws.

Last month, Saudi Arabia executed at least three Egyptians convicted of smuggling banned narcotics including amphetamine pills, according to statements by the Saudi interior ministry.

The Egyptian ministry has called on all travellers to the Gulf kingdom to exercise "utmost caution" in this regard. It urged travel agencies, recruitment firms and import and export companies to advise travellers about the seriousness of the matter.

Saudi Arabia has carried out around 600 executions since the beginning of 2014, over 200 of them in drug cases, Human Rights Watch said in April 2018.

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