75-year-old Saadia says she was duped into carrying a bag containing drugs
An elderly Egyptian woman, held in Saudi Arabia for four months after duped by drug smugglers, has returned home amid massive public and media attention.
Saadia Abdul Salam arrived Wednesday night at Cairo airport where she had a rapturous welcome from her relatives and passengers.
“I can’t believe I have returned to the country,” she told private Egyptian Dream television. “I was wronged and God saved me.”
Saadia, who hails from the Egyptian Delta village of Dareen, has been in the news since March when she was arrested in Saudi Arabia for an attempt to smuggle drugs during Umrah.
I can’t believe I have returned to the country. I was wronged and God saved me.”
– Saadia Abdul Salam | Elderly Egyptian woman detained in Saudi Arabia for four months
She defended herself, saying that a neighbour in her village had fooled her into carrying a bag for a man, who had offered to cover her expenses for Umrah.
Saadia was told that the bag contained clothes for the alleged benefactor’s pregnant wife and was asked to deliver it upon her arrival in Saudi Arabia.
The unsuspecting woman was arrested in Yanbu airport when authorities found 75,000 Tramadol pills and other drugs in one of her bags.
Egyptian authorities launched investigations into the case and arrested the main culprit.
Saadia received huge support from her village who insisted on her innocence and demonstrated for her release.
The Saudi government has offered to pay for Saadia’s expenses if she chooses to perform Haj this year.