Over 3 Tons of Illicit Drugs Seized in Iran’s Border Province in 2 Weeks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian law enforcement police forces in the southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan have seized more than 3 tons of illicit drugs over the past 2 weeks, a provincial police chief said on Wednesday.
Sistan and Balouchestan's Police Chief General Hamid Fahimirad said his forces have managed to seize 3,136 kilograms of narcotics in separate operations in different parts of the border province over the past two weeks.
He said the clampdown on drug traffickers followed extensive intelligence operations in several locations.
The illicit drugs include 2,985 kilograms of opium, 138 kg of hashish and 8 kg of heroin, among others, the commander added.
He also noted that some 30 traffickers have been arrested in the recent operations, and 7 cars, along with a number of rifles and some ammunition, have been confiscated.
In recent decades Iran has been hit by drug trafficking, mainly because of its 936- kilometer shared border 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 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 being 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.