Iran Busts Major Drug Rings in Border Province
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian police in the southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan have disbanded two major narcotics rings in the past two days, confiscating more than 4 tons of drugs, a commander said.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday morning, provincial police chief, General Hossein Rahimi, said the two rings have been disbanded in three separate operations over the past two days.
The operations, involving exchange of gunfire for several hours, led to the confiscation of 4,156 kilograms of opium, morphine and hashish, he added.
The commander said a number of ringleaders and gang members have been arrested in the operation, which ended in the seizure of assault rifles, missile-launchers, machine guns, night-vision devices and a huge amount of ammunition.
According to the general, more than 50 tons of narcotics have been confiscated in the province over the past four months.
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.