In Jeddah, a man caught trying to smuggle 48,000 cans of Heinkein beer to Saudi Arabia. As reported by the Al-Arabiya news, “A truck carrying cans of Pepsi soft drink was stopped for standard process of searching on checking it was found that the cans contain alcohol, only the cans sticker logos mentioned Pepsi. Drinking Alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia and the penalty includes a prison sentence and flogging if somebody is caught red handed. Customs officials at the Al - Batha border entry succeeded in stopping the alcohol cans disguised as Pepsi. Due to increased cases of smuggling of Alcohol in the Kingdom, the Saudi government is revising the laws associated with Alcohol smuggling.
According to Al -Batha border General Manager Abdul Rahman Al-Mahna, the smugglers had played a good trick as the disguised technique was so convincing that for a second no one had the clue that in actual these Pepsi cans contain beer. Smugglers have always been trying innovative ideas to cheat the customs and other authoritative bodies. The identity of the arrested man is not yet revealed while he has been sent to the interrogation cell for further investigation. Upon further investigation the arrested man claims that this was his first time to take part in the smuggling of beer to Saudi Arabia. He added that he was informed that he has to carry Pepsi and did not know that the cans were filled with Alcohol.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the rate of alcohol consumption per capita in Saudi Arabia is 0.2 liters per adult, one of the lowest in the world. Such cases of smuggling of alcohol are not new in Saudi Arabia. In fact there have been number of cases in the past stopping many smugglers trying to carry beer and alcohol. Just a few months ago a Saudi man was caught on the border with Bahrain with 12 bottles of beer sewed into his trousers, and Saudi authorities recently said they found more than 19,000 bottles of alcoholic drinks hidden in a shipment of rice and tomato paste.
Saudi Arabia follows strict rules against the use of Alcohol in the kingdom. But there are still some foreigners who look for Beer and Alcohol as it’s not something prohibited by their religion. Surprisingly, the compartments allocated to the foreigners have freedom to enjoy Alcohol and Beer in their limited boundaries. Therefore, things are generally more lenient within residential compounds for foreign national or expatriates. But for Saudi nationals Alcohol is so illegal that one cannot find the Listerine version that contains little amount of alcohol.
The Muttawa and the committee of the propagation of the virtue and prevention of the vice are keeping an open eye to make sure that all rules against the use of Alcohol are well regulated in the kingdom. All the huge supermarkets and confectioners places are working in check and balance and there are no reports of any illegal stuff being sold in the kingdom.
Source: Arab News
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