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SR3.4 Billion Worth of Arms Imported Legally

Arab News (Jeddah)

5 October 2013

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RIYADH - The value of weapons, ammunition and their accessories imported into Saudi Arabia for personal use exceeded SR3.4 billion [US$906,545,416] in 2012, according to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

The Customs Department has thwarted attempts to smuggle more than 10,000 pieces of arms and ammunition into the Kingdom.

Border guards also managed to thwart attempts to smuggle more than 132,000 pieces of weaponry and ammunition during the first six months of the current year.

Based on Customs Department statistics, the rate of weapons seizure increased 84 percent to reach 3,055 pieces of arms and ammunition this year compared to 1,657 last year.

There has been an increasing rate of smuggling of military material into the Kingdom. Some 5,317 military pieces of weaponry were seized in 2012, compared to 74 in the previous year, which means that attempts to smuggle such material has increased by as much as 70 times according to statistics.

Border guards managed to capture 125,672 pieces of ammunition during the first six months of this year, the report said.

According to official sources, most of these weapon smugglers tried to enter through the southern and northern borders of the Kingdom, but border guards thwarted their attempts.

There were 258 smugglers arrested in August, in addition to more than 20,000 intruders.

Attempts to smuggle 389 weapons and 13,825 pieces of ammunition were also foiled, spokesperson at the border guard, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, said.

ID: N309

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