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Saudi beheads Pakistani for heroin smuggling

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday beheaded a Pakistani man for heroin smuggling, the twelfth person from Pakistan to be executed in the kingdom for drug trafficking since mid-October.

They are among 85 foreigners and Saudis put to death this year in the oil-rich kingdom, according to an AFP tally.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest execution tolls.

The sentence against Ismail Khan Sayed was carried out in Eastern Province after his conviction for smuggling “a large amount” of heroin, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

In addition to amphetamines and other drugs, Saudi authorities seized almost 18 kilogrammes (40 pounds) of raw heroin during the Islamic calendar year that ended in October, according to the Interior Ministry.

The Gulf has become an increasingly important market for illicit drugs in recent years, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are also punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Islamic sharia law. – AFP

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