When it comes to alcohol the worst offenders in the Kingdom are often from the expatriate community. 9 out of 10 news reports about raids on producers, suppliers and distributors includes at least one, if not more, expats within the illegal alcohol supply chain.
There are the expats who run factories to produce the local brew called “araq”. There are the dealers who are middlemen between local & imported drinks and the buyers. Often from the working class, they are jailed or deported when they are caught by the Commission for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue (CPVPV).
MANY Western expats, who mostly live inside guarded compounds, are involved by degrees in importing/buying/selling alcohol and brewing their own moonshine for consumption. The importers (from Bahrain and UAE) are able to make a huge profit from selling the illegal alcohol. These dealers are rarely caught while crossing the border and fewer still are deported if they are detained at customs. The ones who brew their own spirits tend to do so in smaller quantities for personal consumption (rather than for sale) and never get caught as they keep it contained within the compounds. There are parties and happy hours (even at embassies) where everything is available.
What is odd however is the attitude several Western expats have towards alcohol consumption even though they know it is illegal. Many are smug that they are able to break the rules of the country without getting caught; they consider it their right to indulge in their own whims/desires rather than respect the religion and cultural sensibilities of their hosts. As they lament the laws of the Kingdom and the unruly traffic (“Saudi roads are crazy/death traps. I wish the Saudis would follow traffic rules”) they seem to forget that they are also violating the law!
Everyone is selective about which laws they choose to follow and which ones they choose to violate. And thus the pot calls the kettle black, or as the Arabic saying goes, “the camel cannot see the crookedness of its own neck.”