RIYADH, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has rounded up 210 suspected drug smugglers in a series of raids since mid-June in which three security officers were killed, an Interior Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Security forces carried out 18 raids across the conservative Muslim country, killing two smugglers and seizing drugs with a street value of 330 million riyals ($88 million), said the spokesman, who was quoted by the official SPA news agency.
Drugs confiscated in the three-month raids included nearly ten million stimulant pills and 6.4 tonnes of hashish.
“Drugs are aimed at undermining the country’s security in addition to the problem of terrorism,” Abdullah al Yousef, undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs, told state television.
The spokesman said 113 of those arrested for the smuggling or possession of drugs were Saudis while most of the rest were Pakistanis, Yemenis, Syrians and Filipinos.
The kingdom applies strict Islamic Shariaa laws, executing drug smugglers, murderers and rapists, usually by public beheading.