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Saudi Authorities Arrest Three for Environmental Violations in King Salman Royal Natural Reserve

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In a significant move to uphold environmental laws, Saudi authorities have apprehended three individuals for various infractions within the esteemed King Salman Royal Natural Reserve (KSRNR).

The arrests, announced by the Special Forces for Environmental Security (SPES) and reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sunday, highlight the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage and combating illegal activities detrimental to wildlife and ecosystems.

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According to SPES, Ahmed Suleiman Maqbool Al-Sharari and Zahir Dhaif Allah Muslim Al-Sharari were captured during field patrols for illegally hunting wildlife without a license inside the expansive KSRNR.

The duo was found in possession of a firearm, live ammunition, and a captured rabbit, contravening regulations governing protected areas. SPES emphasized that individuals found hunting without proper authorization face severe penalties, including fines reaching up to 80,000 riyals ($21,300).

KSRNR, spanning an impressive 130,000 square kilometers near Saudi Arabia’s northern border with Jordan, is renowned for its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage, boasting ancient monuments dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.

The reserve plays a crucial role in conserving rare flora and fauna endemic to the region, making enforcement of environmental regulations paramount to safeguarding its ecological balance.

In a separate incident reported by SPA, authorities also detained a citizen suspected of arson in the northwestern province of Hail. The individual, whose identity remains undisclosed, allegedly set fire to vegetation cover—a serious offense punishable by fines up to 3,000 riyals ($799).

Such acts not only endanger local ecosystems but also pose significant risks to nearby communities and wildlife habitats. SPES has urged the public to actively contribute to environmental protection efforts by promptly reporting any violations.

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Hotline numbers have been provided across different regions of the Kingdom—911 for Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province, and 999 or 996 for other areas—to facilitate swift responses to incidents threatening natural reserves and biodiversity.

Environmental conservation remains a top priority for Saudi Arabia, reflecting its broader commitment to sustainable development and stewardship of natural resources.

By enforcing stringent penalties and promoting awareness, authorities aim to ensure that cherished landscapes like KSRNR continue to thrive for future generations.

As investigations into these cases proceed, SPES has underscored the importance of compliance with environmental regulations, emphasizing that such measures are essential to safeguarding Saudi Arabia’s environmental heritage against unlawful activities.

The arrests serve as a reminder of the Kingdom’s proactive stance against environmental violations, reinforcing its role as a custodian of natural treasures and a champion of global conservation efforts.

As efforts to protect KSRNR intensify, Saudi Arabia reaffirms its dedication to preserving the integrity of its natural reserves and fostering sustainable practices nationwide.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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