A Saudi man who smuggled drugs into Jeddah's main prison using a drone has been has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and 1,500 lashes. The decision was blasted by the attorney general, who said the sentence was too lenient and called for the defendant to face the death penalty.
A Lebanese man living in Saudi Arabia was convicted of selling the defendant the drone and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars as well as 1,000 lashes. He will also be deported upon his release from jail.
The daring attempt to transport drugs into the prison took place about two-and-a-half years ago after the 45cm x 45cm drone landed on the roof of barracks seven and eight. According to the Saudi Gazette, the device was spotted flying from one side of Briman prison to the other by a guard.
An intelligence report said the drone took to the skies from a supermarket close to the prison and was operated by the main defendant's two brothers using a remote control. The haul included 1,997 Captagon pills and 115 grams of hashish.
The document added that another prisoner was supposed to handle the drug sales to other inmates and transfer the money to a bank account. He was set to receive assistance in retrieving the drone from fellow prisoners during visitation hours.
Seven other accomplices of the defendant also received jail time ranging from three to 10 years. Two prison guards accused of assisting in the narcotics' entry into the prison were acquitted.
Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest drug laws in the world and can result in the death penalty if breached. In 2014, authorities executed four members of the same extended family after they were convicted of "receiving large quantities of hashish."
Other crimes which also carry capital punishment in the country include murder, adultery, treason, gay sex, sorcery and witchcraft and apostasy.