Saudi Arabia’s border guards have foiled an attempt to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of hashish and qat into the kingdom from Yemen to the southern regions of Jazan, Najran and Asir.
Border authorities seized 760 kilograms of hashish and more than 45 tonnes of qat, said Col Misfir Al Qarini, the official spokesman for the General Directorate of the Saudi Border Guard.
In total, 61 people were arrested in the drug bust, including 41 Saudi citizens.
Qat is a leafy narcotic consumed widely in Yemen and is said to induce euphoria, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. If abused, the drug can cause mild psychological dependence, the World Health Organisation says.
A video posted on the Saudi Interior Ministry’s Twitter account shows hundreds of bags filled with the confiscated drugs.
Saudi Arabia seized more than 37 tonnes of illegal drugs last year, as well as 190 million Captagon pills, figures released by the kingdom’s customs authority showed.
Lebanon and Syria are the biggest sources of Captagon tablets smuggled into the kingdom, but some of the pills are manufactured in Jordan, where authorities in 2018 dismantled a laboratory producing the drug.