RIYADH : Saudi authorities said Sunday that they had seized more than five million amphetamine tablets and arrested 11 people in one of the kingdom’s largest drug busts.

The suspects — nine Saudis and two Sudanese citizens — were arrested in Riyadh as an illegal deal was being completed, state news agency SPA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying.

Three grams of heroin, a machine gun and a pistol were also seized from the suspects, the spokesman said without elaborating. Drug smuggling appears to be on the rise in the ultra-conservative Muslim country despite a crackdown by the authorities.

The interior ministry announced in November that it had seized a total of 22.4 million amphetamine tablets, 28.8 tons of cannabis and 26.2 kilograms of heroin in the last Islamic calendar year, which ends in mid-October. Drug smuggling is punishable by death in the kingdom, which is governed according to a strict interpretation of Islamic law.