Foiled! Attempt to sneak woman into Saudi failed at the Bahraini border

Published January 13th, 2016 - 12:30 GMT

Saudi authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle a foreign woman into the countryby hiding her inside a car, according to the Gulf News.

The woman was reportedly "concealed" under a pile of clothes behind the front seats of the car crossing the King Fahad Causeway, linking Bahrain with Saudi Arabia.

"A car arrived early in the morning to the customs area for clearance," Dhaifallah Al Otaibi, the general director of customs at King Fahad Causeway, said. "During the routine inspection, a foreign woman was discovered on the mats and under a pile of clothes behind the driver's seat. The ruse obviously did not work and the customs officer reported the case. The procedures in such cases are being followed," he said.

Al Otaibi paid tribute to the officer and to the customs for their efforts to foil all kinds of smuggling attempts, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.

The nationality of the woman and the reasons for the smuggling were not announced by the authorities.

However, the attempt to drive foreigners into Saudi Arabia via the 25-kilometre causeway was not new.

In June 2013, an attempt to smuggle a European woman into Saudi Arabia was foiled by local customs officers.

The woman whose nationality was not revealed did not have a passport and was hiding under a large carpet and a small wooden table on the Pajero floor mats.

The woman was discovered as the customs inspected the car driven from Bahrain by a British national.

Thousands of vehicles and passengers, mainly Saudis, regularly use the terrestrial link, particularly over the weekend.

Customs officers on both sides of the causeway have been engaged in a relentless battle against incredible ruses to smuggle weapons, explosives, alcohol, birds and animals, a task that has been rendered particularly challenging by the high number of daily users and commuters.

In March, Bahraini authorities said that they seized bomb-making material on a bus coming from Iraq via Saudi Arabia with 55 passengers on-board, mostly women and children.

"A screening of the passengers' luggage with X-ray machines showed that one of the bags contained suspicious things," Advocate General and Terror Crimes Chief Prosecutor Ahmad Al Hammadi said. "During a closer inspection, 140 electric detonators, 41 electric circuits that could be used in blasts, a remote control and some mobile phones were found hidden inside some electrical appliances in the bag."

In May, Saudi Arabia foiled an attempt to smuggle RDX – a highly explosive material - and detonators intended to be used in the kingdom.

The Saudi security men had doubts about the two men driving into Saudi Arabia and decided to search their car.

The inspection yielded 14 bags carefully hidden inside the back seats of the car. Officials said that 11 bags contained more than 30 kilos of the RDX and two bags had 50 blasting caps. The last bag had a six-metre detonator cord.

By Habib Toumi

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