Saudi seizes five million amphetamine tablets

AFP , Sunday 27 Dec 2015

Saudi authorities said Sunday that they had seized more than five million amphetamine tablets and arrested 11 people in one of the kingdom's largest drug busts.

The suspects -- nine Saudis and two Sudanese citizens -- were arrested in Riyadh as an illegal deal was being completed, state news agency SPA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying.

Three grams of heroin, a machine gun and a pistol were also seized from the suspects, the spokesman said without elaborating.

Drug smuggling appears to be on the rise in the ultra-conservative Muslim country despite a crackdown by the authorities.

The interior ministry announced in November that it had seized a total of 22.4 million amphetamine tablets, 28.8 tons of cannabis and 26.2 kilograms of heroin in the last Islamic calendar year, which ends in mid-October.

Drug smuggling is punishable by death in the kingdom, which is governed according to a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

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