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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