— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) January 28, 2016
Thanks to the country's austere interpretation of Islamic law, alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia. The punishments can be harsh: Anyone caught in possession of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages runs the risk of time in jail and flogging.
Despite this, there are a fair few people within the country who like to drink alcohol – and there are smugglers willing to come up with elaborate methods of getting the alcohol into the country.
For a little over a year, Saudi Arabia's custom officials have been sharing some of the failed attempts to smuggle alcohol into the country on social media. The tweet at the top of this article, for example, shows one of the many attempts to smuggle alcohol hidden in a vehicle.
Other recent images show a wide variety of other attempts to hide alcohol, including hiding the alcohol in underpants...
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) January 24, 2016
... inside industrial looking containers ...
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) December 30, 2015
... inside fake crates...
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) December 23, 2015
... in specially designed pants ...
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) September 14, 2015
... and even in fake cans of Pepsi.
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) November 11, 2015
(The video below shows that last one in action.)
Smugglers aren't restricting their trade to alcohol, either. Customs officials have also shared images of prohibited drugs like "captagon" hidden in tires ...
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) January 2, 2016
... large amounts of cash ...
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) October 12, 2015
... and what are referred to as "bird accessories."
— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) July 5, 2015
Saudi Arabia's legal system isn't known for its openness – in fact, many consider it inscrutable if not worse. But Saudi customs' embrace of social media may reflect the burgeoning and often vibrant social media audience within the country. The Saudi customs Twitter account has a not-too-shabby 136,000 followers.
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