Saudi Arabia’s alcohol laws are notoriously strict—so strict that a 74-year-old British man just finished a year in a Jeddah prison and nearly faced 350 lashes over possession of homemade wine. Knowing the risks, one heroic man recently tried to smuggle 48,000 beers into the country dressed up as Pepsi cans.
Unfortunately, customs officials decided to take a closer look, and noticed something was off about these pop cans.
“After the standard process of searching the products, it became clear that the alcoholic beers were covered with Pepsi’s sticker logos,” said the buzz-killing officer who unwrapped one of the fake Pepsis to discover a Heineken underneath.
ملصقات "مشروب بيبسي" على 48 ألف علبة بيرة بالكحول كشف محاولة تهريبها جمرك البطحاء pic.twitter.com/TETuvcWRpD— الجمارك السعودية (@KsaCustoms) November 11, 2015
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Customs account on Twitter is full of photos of confiscated booze, and Metro UK notes that smugglers regularly go to extreme lengths to get alcohol into the country. One man sewed 12 bottles into his pants, and other smugglers have hidden been inside packages of rice and tomato paste.
But this was an especially elaborate scheme, and it seems a shame for it to fail (and for such a huge amount of perfectly drinkable bad beer to go to waste).
R.I.P. 48,000 Cans of Heineken (2015-2015).