Iranian Police Seize 1.5 Tons of Opium in Armed Clashes with Smugglers
ZAHEDAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s anti-narcotics police forces have managed to capture more than 1.5 tons of opium and arrest two armed smugglers in the southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan, the provincial police chief announced.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi said following round-the-clock intelligence activities, police forces identified an armed drug ring that intended to transit a big haul of illicit drugs from border areas to Saravan in Sistan and Balouchestan Province.
After monitoring the gang members’ activities for a few weeks, the intelligence teams of the police identified and clashed with them while they were on board a pickup truck in the city of Saravan, he said.
The commander went on to say that following half an hour of shooting, the smugglers, who were not able to confront the police forces, took advantage of the darkness and fled from the scene.
In the operation, the forces seized 1,112 kilograms of opium after inspecting the traffickers’ vehicle, he said.
In another surprise operation, the Law Enforcement forces of Zahedan and Iranshahr captured 393 kg of opium and arrested two smugglers.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past three decades.
The country has spent more than $700 million on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.