A Saudi Arabian man has been jailed for 15 years for using an airborne drone to smuggle drugs into Jeddah’s biggest prison.
The unnamed defendant used the small remote-controlled drone to fly over the wall of Briman Prison, which was spotted landing on a barrack roof.
A search revealed the drone to be carrying 115 grams of hashish and 1,997 Captigon narcotic pills.
In addition to the jail term, Jeddah Summary Court also sentenced the convicted man to 1,500 whip lashes, a sentence described as lenient by the country’s attorney general who argued in favour of a death sentence.
The Lebanese expat, who was accused of selling the drone to the Saudi smuggler, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and deportation from the Kingdom after serving his term.
Seven other accomplices were sentenced to various prison terms ranging from three to 10 years while two prison guards, who were accused of facilitating the entry of the drugs, were acquitted.
The drone, had four propellors which were 45 centimeters long and 45 cm wide. It was Chinese-made and was operated by a remote control from a place near the prison.
An intelligence report to the court said the drone took off from a nearby supermarket and was operated by two brothers of the main defendant.
The report said a prisoner was to handle the selling of the drugs to the other inmates and remit the proceeds to a certain bank account. Some other prisoners would have assisted him by retrieving the drone from the roof during visitation hours.
The security search found out that the Lebanese expatriate had sold 13 other similar aircraft before at SR4,000 to SR,5000 a piece, reported the Saudi Gazette.
The report said that more than SR200,000 in cash was found with the members of the smuggling gang.
The attorney general said the main defendant was an old drug smuggler who served 15 years in prison before for drug trafficking.