Are Poppy Seeds banned in Saudi Arabia?

Poppy seeds (خشخاش) are used in many Indian and Pakistani cuisine. However, many do not know that Poppy Seeds are banned in Saudi Arabia.

Indian pilgrims got arrested

Recently, two Indian pilgrims, Siraj Fareed, and Haneefa Yusuf, were arrested at Jeddah airport for carrying 250 grams of Poppy Seeds.

As soon as customs officials found it in their luggage, they immediately seized their passports and handed them to the police for further investigation.

Both stated that they did not know that Poppy seeds are banned in Saudi Arabia and had carried it for cooking. It is common to use poppy seeds in Indian and Pakistani dishes.

Poppy Seeds banned in Saudi Arabia

Pilgrims released for Hajj

According to Indian Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, the two had spent eight days in prison and were released on the intervention of the consul general, only to perform Hajj.

They have been handed over to the South Asian Establishment, which gave a written undertaking to return them to the authorities after Hajj.

Thus, they were provided with all the necessary assistants for completing Hajj. Siraj and his aunt have praised the authorities for giving them reasonable treatment and being sympathetic towards them.

Siraj Fareed, and Haneefa Yusuf,
Siraj Fareed, and Haneefa Yusuf,

Consul General Request

The consul general has written to the Saudi officials to sympathize. Dr. Ausaf was optimistic that the two would be set free and praised the Saudi officials for their sympathy and corporation. He advised the arrested ones to be cooperative with the officials.

Pilgrims were released

The Saudi police investigated the subject and found that  Siraj Fareed, and Haneefa Yusuf were unaware of the rule that poppy seeds are banned in Saudi Arabia.

Therefore, after almost two months of their arrest, they were released and sent back to India.

Source: Arab News

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