The customs authorities in Saudi Arabia confiscated 48,000 cans of Heineken beers disguised as Pepsi, which were supposed to be smuggled inside the country.
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country and strictly follows the teachings of the Qu’ran which include prohibiting the consumption, production, selling, and smuggling of alcohol (liquor) in the country.
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Take note that the Mecca, which is considered by Muslims as the most sacred site, is located in the country. Saudi Arabia imposes harsh punishments for any person or entity caught drinking or selling alcohol in the country.
Traders are trying to find ways to smuggle alcohol in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi customs stopped a truck at the Al Batha border crossing post with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). An officer became suspicious while checking the truck and decided to peel the sticker of the soda cans. He discovered that the products in the truck were not Pepsi but Heineken beers.
Al Arabiya quoted Al Batha customs officer Abdulrahman al-Mahna saying, “A truck carrying what first seemed to be a normal can of the soft drink Pepsi, was stopped and after the standard process of searching the products, it became clear the alcoholic beer was covered with Pepsi stickers.”
Based on the situation, traders are finding ways to smuggle alcohol in Saudi Arabia despite its strict laws against it.
In September, the customs authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested a man for trying to smuggle 12 bottles of whiskey, which were hidden inside special pockets in his trousers, which he covered with thawb (the traditional long, white robe worn by men in the country).
In April, the Saudi customs confiscated more than 19,188 bottles of alcohol hidden inside small rice bags and tomato pastes.
Saudi Arabia released a British winemaker after 14 months in prison
In November, Saudi Arabia released Karl Andree, elderly British winemaker, who served 14 months in prison for alcohol passion.
In August, Andree was arrested in Jeddah after authorities found bottles of homemade wine in his jail. He sentenced to suffer 350 lashes and 12 months in prison.
Andree’s family appealed to the British government for his release on health grounds. They explained that had cancer and other health conditions, and the lashes might kill him. Prime Minister Cameron made a personal appeal to Saudi Arabia.