Ministry cracks down on online arms dealers
Mansour Al-Turki, the ministry’s spokesman, said violators — either individuals or website operators — will be treated as criminals.
He pointed out that trade in weapons and its accessories are prohibited in the Kingdom.
Al-Turki said competent security agencies regularly follow up and track the information and data available on trade in weapons on the Internet and social networking sites.
According to local media reports, the ministry discovered 31 accounts on Instagram that posed social and security risk “because some of the users were openly using the sites to trade in weapons.”
The sites have followers, and contain photos of the different kinds of arms and ammunitions such as Kalashnikov rifles and guns of all sizes ready for sale.
The prices of the arms displayed on the sites range between SR1,700 and SR25, 000 depending on the type of weapon.
“Such accounts are a threat to the internal security and society in general because criminals and teenagers can obtain them easily despite the strict control and monitoring of the Ministry of Interior on the borders to prevent arms smuggling into the Kingdom,” he said.
As per the law, any person who is found guilty of manufacturing, assembling, selling or purchasing such weapons and ammunition, and who has in his possession such arms with the intent to disturb internal security, will be jailed for up to 30 years and will be fined up to SR300 000.
In case the individual is found in possession of weapons of war or ammunition, he is liable to either imprisonment of 25 years or a fine of SR150,000 or both.
A person guilty of possessing an individual weapon or ammunition without a license can face a jail term of up to two years or a fine of SR7,000 or both.
The Interior Ministry represented by the General Directorate for the Border Guards is making extensive efforts to combat arms smuggling. During the past six months, the directorate has succeeded in seizing 2,089 pieces of weapons.