Page last updated at 20:35 GMT, Sunday, 8 March 2009

Saudi raids 'break up drug gangs'


Saudi authorities say they have broken up four big drug smuggling operations and arrested 35 suspected drug dealers.

Security forces seized more than 1,760kg of cannabis resin and more than 3m amphetamine tablets in raids across the country, officials said.

The interior ministry said inquiries showed that one of the groups had been involved in financial transactions worth more than $100m (71m).

No details were given about when the raids took place.

The interior ministry said those arrested included 13 Saudis and 22 foreigners, according to a statement carried by the SPA official news agency.

One of the gangs, including seven Saudi nationals, had formed a network inside the kingdom to distribute the drugs, the statement said.

Interior ministry spokesman Gen Mansour al-Turki told the AFP news agency that there were "large amounts [of drugs] coming from the southern border" with Yemen.

Drug smuggling carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, and those convicted are usually executed in public.

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