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Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Saudis seize porn movies
Saudi dress codes forbid any display of nudity
Saudi dress codes forbid any display of nudity
By Middle East correspondent Frank Gardner

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have reportedly seized about 10,000 pornographic video films, which are strictly banned in the Muslim country.

According to a local newspaper they also arrested six illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, who were said to be renting out the films from an extensive video library.

The seizure has been a triumph for the Saudi authorities but a bitter blow for followers of the country's underground blue movie circuit.

According to the local paper, Al-Iqtissadiya, Saudi officials have seized and burnt the pornographic videos from an apartment in Jeddah.

Banned trade

The apartment's occupants, a group of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, were reportedly doing a roaring trade in renting out blue movies to young Saudis.

Porn is outlawed in conservative Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the Islamic religion.

But satellite television and holidays in the West have aroused the curiosity of young Saudis.

They have little opportunity to meet the opposite sex before marriage.

Despite the best efforts of the authorities, both prostitution and pornography have found their customers.

This latest raid is unlikely to be the last.

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