Iranian Police Seize Large Cargo of Opium after Armed Clashes
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Law Enforcement Police forces seized over one ton of opium after armed clashes with drug-traffickers in the southeastern city of Saravan, a senior police official said.
Caretaker of Saravan's Law Enforcement Police Mohsen Davoudi told the Tasnim News Agency on Wednesday that police adopted special measures and dispatched several groups of its special forces after it received information about drug-traffickers’ plan to transit large cargo of narcotics last night.
He said that armed clashes erupted between police forces and traffickers after police chased their car in a road connecting Kohak region to Saravan.
General Davoudi said that the drug-traffickers took advantage of the darkness and fled from the scene, leaving behind the drug-loaded vehicle from which 1,100kg of opium was seized.
In recent decades Iran has been hit by drug trafficking, mainly because of its 936- kilometers of shared borders with Afghanistan, which supplies over 90% of the world's opium; the raw ingredient of heroin.
The United Nations has estimated in the past that opium trafficking accounts for up to 15 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product, but the figure is expected to rise as international military and development spending declines with the NATO withdrawal at the end of 2014.
Iran is on a major transit route for drugs smuggled from Afghanistan to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the country's war on drug-traffickers has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police forces over the past 34 years.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Iran is netting eight times more opium and three times more heroin than all other countries in the world combined.