Kerala woman jailed in Saudi Arabia over ‘banned’ drug

The drug, prescribed by a Kerala-based doctor for a neurological ailment she was suffering from, is reportedly banned in Saudi Arabia.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: December 23, 2016 12:18 am

A young woman from Kerala has landed in a jail in Saudi Arabia after she was found in possession of a huge quantity of medicine. The drug, prescribed by a Kerala-based doctor for a neurological ailment she was suffering from, is reportedly banned in Saudi Arabia.

According to her family members in Kottayam, Hissana Hussain, 26, flew to Dammam from Kochi on Tuesday with her husband Liaquath and their three-year-old son. The family earlier lived in Dubai, where Liaquath worked as an engineer. A month ago, they returned home for a break before flying to Saudi, where Liaquath got a new job.

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Hussain has been suffering from neurological disorders for the past three years, said her family members. Before leaving for Saudi, she consulted a physician in Kerala. “She had purchased the prescribed medicine for the next six months. With three tablets a day, she was carrying a huge stock. She took the tablets to Saudi without the doctor’s prescription,’’ said Rama George, a family friend of the victim and a leader of the Lok Janashakti Party.

George said the medicine Hussain was carrying is reportedly a banned substance as per Saudi laws. Hence, officials of the Directorate of Narcotic Control took her into custody on her arrival at the airport on Tuesday evening. Later, the officials handed over their son to Liaquath and informed him of her imprisonment, said George.

Hussain’s family has obtained a copy of the prescription. The issue has been taken up with the Ministry of External Affairs and the prescription dispatched to the Indian Embassy in Saudi.

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  1. V
    Dec 24, 2016 at 3:46 pm
    Woops- she sure should have had a waver of some sort. In all international airports the same would happen. Not to mention it was 6 months worth of three-pills-a day ! Even for drugs that would not be used recreationally- it is always a must to carry the prescription with you when crossing borders. lt;br/gt;This news piece isn't focused on Saudi- or atleast it shouldn't be. Not to mention it isn't finished. I am sure things will get cleared up once her son's condition is checked out. Though I wonder why she didn't simply ask what the alternative was in the state she was moving to with her husband..isn't that what everyone does? lt;br/gt;Also- it is a little odd for a doctor to prescribe 6-months worth of neurological drugs that might be used illegally here and there..I know my doc wouldn't. The Saudi Arabian airlines and the international airport there surely is clear on such policies.
    1. E
      Dec 23, 2016 at 7:26 pm
      I am 100% with the Saudis on this. Come on guys! Anyone having any illness must have a prescription with them to legalize the drugs that they have. In some countries, they ask for a prescription to buy eye lenses. Thus, to have a prescription you are given what you want and you won't get jailed over it.