Whenever I hear drug trafficking, I usually think hard drugs like cocaine or heroin so imagine my surprise when I read Saudi authorities detained two Nigerian females for drug trafficking, and the drug involved was TRAMADOL...wow!
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Monday, the Secretary, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Adeleke AbdulKareem, disclosed that the females (both from Oyo state) were a part of this year’s Hajj and were detained by the Saudi Arabian authorities for a drug-related offence. Abdulkareem added that one of them escaped while the other was still in detention. However he didn't mention the quantity of painkillers involved.
In Saudi Arabia, Tramadol is a contraband substance while in the USA, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) lists Tramadol as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance. Doctors are allowed to prescribe the drug but must document properly on the patients because the drug could be addictive.
Examples of other Schedule IV drugs include Valium, Xanax, and Ambien.
In Nigeria, doctors prescribe Tramadol to manage pain and in some cases arthritis. So it is probable that the women had a prescription for the drugs.
Therefore, I think the women can't be blamed if Hajj officials failed to inform them some prescribed medication are not be allowed in Saudi. They should also have been given a list of those medications to avoid troubles as this.
But if they planned to sell the drugs, they must be regretting that decision now. My advice--know where you're planning to visit thoroughly.