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Saudi Arabia intercepts 46-ton drug shipment from Yemen

The drugs discovered were 45.6 tonnes of qat and 760 kg of hashish, according to border guard spokesman Misfir Al-Qarini.

Despite tough drug sanctions in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom is a hotspot for smuggling activities [AIAOU/Corbis/Getty-file photo]

Saudi authorities said they sabotaged an effort to smuggle more than 46 tons of illegal drugs into the kingdom from Yemen.

There were 41 Saudi nationals among the 61 arrested in connection with the shipment to the southern regions of Saudi Arabia, Asir, Jazan and Najran, The National reported Wednesday.

The drugs discovered were 45.6 tonnes of qat and 760 kg of hashish, according to border guard spokesman Misfir Al-Qarini.

Hashish is produced from the marijuana plant, while qat is common in Yemen and is chewed to produce a euphoric high.

Dramatic video posted to Twitter on Wednesday by the Saudi Interior Ministry showed masked men holding guns and wearing uniforms piling up mounds of what appear to be narcotics.

It was not immediately clear if the video was illustrative or if some of the footage is believed to be from the recently thwarted smuggling effort.

Despite tough drug sanctions in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom is a hotspot for smuggling activities.

Saudi Customs has revealed that it discovered more than 37 tons of illegal narcotics in 2021.

Attempts to smuggle Captagon stimulant pills into the kingdom from Syria and Lebanon often make headlines.

Riyadh stopped allowing certain goods imported from Lebanon in April 2021 after more than 5.3 million pills were found in the port of Jeddah.