(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi authorities have successfully been fighting the entry of liquor in the kingdom with the coordinated efforts of the commission for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice and the customs department.
'saudi customs confiscated 68000 bottles of wine from jan. 1 to march end this year" customs spokesperson eisa al-qudaibi said on tuesday in a statement.
al-qudaibi said that they have adopted modern measures to check the liquor at the entry points along the borders.
the official said that liquor bottles were stashed in trucks for animal transportation and other goods.
he said that smugglers were resorting to innovative methods to bring liquor into the kingdom but alert officers at checkpoints were able to see through such plots and foil them.
al-qudaibi said that officers discovered in two separate incidents last month a total of 24334 wine bottles in the guise of food and industrial equipment.
the eastern province remains the favored gateway for liquor smuggling from neighboring countries with the batha border check post in al-ahsa becoming a flashpoint for contraband destined for the kingdom.
expatriates including some from western countries are actively involved in the smuggling of branded wine whereas african expatriates namely ethiopians are involved in the local manufacture of liquor according to sources and reports.
in a related incident the jeddah municipality raided a residential unit in al-mantazahat district in the southern part of the city and destroyed 9562 liters of locally produced liquor.
mohammed al-bogaimi of jeddah municipality in a statement tuesday said that following a tip off from the commission for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice the officials of the municipality of um al-salam raided the house where some african expatriates were running a liquor factory.