Smugglers Use Condoms, Qurans to Move Drugs into Saudi Arabia

Syrian police show seized drugs and captagon pills at the Drug Enforcement Administration in the capital Damascus, on January 4, 2016. A string of major drug busts in Syria and Lebanon has drawn new attention to the trade in captagon, an illegal substance that has flourished in the chaos of …

Al-Arabiya reports that smugglers have “resorted to some desperate measures” to slip drugs and alcohol into Saudi Arabia.

Among the methods described in their photo essay are swallowing condoms full of contraband — a time-honored drug-smuggling tactic that can kill the carrier if a condom bursts in their stomach — and the remarkable practice of stuffing copies of the Quran with pills.

“Recently the most common substance found has been Captagon tablets, which acts as a mental and physical stimulant. ISIS have previously been reported for having taken Captagon tablets to help keep them awake during the gun battles,” al-Arabiya observes. In fact, Captagon has been described as the drug of choice for 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s young drug users.

Saudi police say smugglers have also been hiding their wares inside fruit, vegetables, auto parts, table lamps, and sheep intestines.

Drug smugglers often receive the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, usually through beheading with a sword, a practice that dismays human-rights activists. Damaging a copy of the Quran can also bring the death penalty for apostasy.

There have been a number of large drug busts in the Kingdom recently, one of them involving two Syrian nationals who were attempting to move 257,000 pills by hiding them in coffee grinding equipment.


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