Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Saudi Arabia sentences man to 15 years and 1,500 lashes for smuggling drugs into prison using drone

Will Worley
Monday 05 September 2016 14:19 BST
The drone was used to smuggle stimulant pills and cannabis
The drone was used to smuggle stimulant pills and cannabis (PA)

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to 15 years in prison and 1,500 lashes for smuggling drugs into prison using a drone.

A Lebanese national who lived in Saudi Arabia was also convicted of selling the drone, and sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and deportation upon his release.

Investigators said he had sold at least 13 similar aircraft for up to SR,5000 (around £1,000) each.

The prosecuting attorney general protested the sentences, saying they were too lenient and that the mean should have received the death penalty.

In an incident which took place over two years ago, the unnamed Saudi citizen smuggled 115 grams of cannabis and nearly 2,000 stimulant pills on to the roof of the main prison in Jeddah, according to the Saudi Gazette.

A 45cm-by-45cm drone with four propellers was used to transport the drugs to barracks seven and eight of Briman prison. A report submitted to the court said the drone took off from a supermarket roof close to the prison and was operated by the brother of the convict.

The document also said the drugs were intended to be distributed in the jail by one prisoner, who would transfer the profits to a bank account connected to the convict.

Around SR200,000 (nearly £40,000) was found on members of the gang. Several oif his accomplices were also handed sentences ranging from three to 10 years.

In August, police in London seized two drones attempting to smuggle items into Pentonville prison. The packages were found to contain a “substantial” amount of Class B drugs, ‘legal highs’ and a “large quantity” of mobile phones, according to police.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in