Dubai: Saudi authorities have helped a frail, old Egyptian woman realise her dream of performing Umrah after she fell victim to a gang of drug dealers, who told her a donor had paid for her expenses and all she had to do was deliver a bag to him.
The unsuspecting woman took the bag and began her travels. She was arrested in Yanbu airport for smuggling narcotics.
The authorities found 75,000 Tramadol pills and other drugs in one of her bags.
The 75-year-old-woman,ٍ Saadiya Abdel Salam’s dream was to perfom Umrah.
A bunch of men from her village of Dareen in Egypt approached her saying a philanthropist would pay her expenses. All she had to do was carry a bag and hand it to him.
The bag, the grandmother was told, contained clothes for his pregnant wife.
Her family appeared on the Egyptian talk show, “Al Ashera Masaa”.
Saadiya’s arrest caused outrage in Dareen where residents marched in protest and demanded the culprits be arrested.
A hashtag went viral which caught the eye of Egyptian authorities and the Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
The gang that had duped the woman was arrested and the Saudi authorities were alerted.
The Egyptian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hazem Ramadan told “Al Ashera Masaa” talk show that the prosecution will send the results of the interrogation to the Saudi Arabian authorities.
Investigations revealed that Abdel Salam was one of 10 women who had been duped.
Another had travelled, while eight were still awaiting departure.
Saudi Arabian authorities released Saadiya on Monday and she was allowed to perform Umrah rituals in Makkah.
She also visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah before leaving for Egypt.