An American media report has said that Saudi Arabia is becoming the “drug capital” of the Middle East and the main destination of illegal drugs and narcotics in the region.
The revelation was made in a CNN report after Saudi authorities announced the largest seizure of illicit drugs in the country’s history by discovering nearly 47 million amphetamine pills in a flour shipment and at a warehouse in Riyadh.
“The record seizure demonstrates what experts say is Saudi Arabia’s growing role as the drug capital of the Middle East, driving demand and becoming the primary destination for smugglers,” the report said.
“The kingdom is one of the largest and most lucrative regional destinations for drugs, and that status is only intensifying.”
The Saudi authorities stopped short of mentioning the name and type of seized drugs and their origin, but the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had previously said that “reports of amphetamine seizures from countries in the Middle East continue to refer predominantly to tablets bearing the Captagon logo.”
Stressing that many young people in Saudi Arabia have been taking drugs as a result of boredom and lack of social opportunities, the report said hashish and khat are the most common drugs in the kingdom, with amphetamines becoming popular among Saudi youth.
These substances have been widespread in Saudi Arabia in the past 15 years, but since five years ago, perhaps together with cannabis, they have become more popular, the report cited Wanda Felbab-Brown, a member of the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC, as saying.