Saudi authorities at border with United Arab Emirates caught a man with 48,000 cans of Heineken – all disguised as Pepsi cola.
“A truck carrying what first seemed to be normal cans of the soft drink Pepsi was stopped and after the standard process of searching the products, it became clear that the alcoholic beers were covered with Pepsi’s sticker logos,” Al Batha border General Manager Abdulrahman al-Mahna was quoted as saying.
This isn’t the first time smugglers have gone to inventive measures to get alcohol into Saudi Arabia. Just a couple of months ago, a Saudi man was caught on the border with Bahrain with 12 bottles of liquor sewed into his trousers, and Saudi authorities recently saidthey found more than 19,000 bottles of alcoholic drinks hidden in a shipment of rice and tomato paste.
As silly as that sounds, the punishment for smuggling alcohol can be severe. Saudi citizens – and sometimes foreigners, too – can be sentenced to prison and floggings if they are caught.
Legally, alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia
The World Health Organization estimates that the rate of alcohol consumption per capita in Saudi Arabia is 0.2 liters per adult, one of the lowest in the world.