Marib man killed by Saudi nationals Tensions run high over drug trafficking [Archives:2005/852/Local News]

June 20 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
MARIB- June 17- Tribal sources mentioned to the Yemen Times last Friday that Ahmad Bin Samrah, a tribesman from al-Damashiqah, Abeeda was killed by three Saudi nationals from Yam Tribe.

Some of the victim's relatives chased the murderers in the area of al-Rawbic, 60 km east of Marib and killed the Saudi national who has been living in the tribe for a long time while the other two perpetrators fled the scene.

A number of Abeeda sheikhs have intervened to calm down the tension and to avoid any wars or tribal revenges between the two parties.

The sources attributed the incidence to the fact that a group of al-Damashiqa tribesmen caught last week four people having around 50 kg of hashish.

The victim Bin Samrah cooperated with the group in holding these elements who traffic drugs and led by a Saudi national.

A group of Al-Awshan tribesmen in Abeeda seized during the final days of May three cars loaded with over 2000 kg of Hashish the smugglers have been planning to hide in a Marib house and then to traffic them into Saudi Arabia.

Ten people from Wailah Tribe were caught while being on board the two cars and a third car fled the scene when a tribesman deceived the group that has been chasing the traffickers by saying he is the person they ask about.

The tribesman told other individuals that he had hosted these people (traffickers) who surrendered themselves. Their cars were released and large quantity of hashish with an estimated value of YR50 million was burnt.

The traffickers offered the tribesmen one million Saudi riyals as a ransom for their release, but the offer was rejected.

The process of burning the seized quantities of hashish took place in the presence of Marib Governor and the Police General Director.

In the same respect, the Specialist Penal Court, presided over by Judge Najib al-Qadri, issued last Sunday a verdict on the case No. 24 for the year 2004 “flagrant crimes”.

Under the term “flagrant crimes”, seven people were charged with smuggling drugs and distributing them in Yemen. Two of the suspects hold the Pakistani citizenship.

Under the verdict, the two Pakistani nationals Beirkhan and Abdurrahman Tawoos were sentenced to death along with Saleh Sa'eed al-Hitam, a Yemeni fugitive, for being involved in drug trafficking and distribution.

Zeyad al-Nihari, Ahmad Saleh al-Mihlisi, and Mohamed al-Hitam, a fugitive, were all sentenced to five years in prison.

The court acquitted suspect No.7 Yasser Abu Shu'arah from the charges filed against him, burnt 14 kg of drugs and confiscated the transportation means that were used by the traffickers.

The security apparatuses arrested the five suspects who were tried by the courts of Sana'a, Aden and Hodeida on November 16 2003.

It is noteworthy that this verdict is the first of its kind in Yemen to sentence people involved in drug trafficking.

Yemen is considered to be a cross-point for drug trafficking coming from the Horn of Africa into the Gulf and other countries.

Over the last few days, drug smugglers tended to exploit tribesmen in trafficking hashish and drugs over the Yemeni borders into the neighboring countries.