Iran seizes 9 tons of narcotics destined for Europe

September 27, 2019

TEHRAN – The police have seized a huge shipment of illicit drugs destined for Europe in Orumiyeh, West Azarbaijan province, Iran’s Deputy Police Chief Ayoub Soleimani announced on Thursday. 

Soleimani said the narcotics shipment, which was hidden in a petrol tanker, comprised 3.5 tons of morphine and 5.3 tons of opium, ISNA said.

“Also in recent days, another shipment of 20 kilograms of heroin as well as 130 pieces of smuggled weapons were seized in Orumiyeh … and on Wednesday more than 175 kilograms of opium, more than 8 kilograms of crystal meth and 8 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Orumiyeh,” he added.

Iran’s neighbor, Afghanistan, produces some 90% of the world’s opium, which is extracted from poppy resin and refined to make heroin and morphine.

Iran is a major transit route for Afghan-produced opiates headed to Europe and beyond. The illegal drugs are often first shipped from Iran and other Asian nations to east Africa, where smuggling networks help move it into Europe and even into the U.S. black market.

Iran confiscates and destroys hundreds of tons of illicit narcotics every year. According to the latest UN figures, Iran accounted for 91% of the world’s opium seizures and 20% of heroin and morphine seizures in 2017, amounting to 694 and 43 tons respectively.

In comments on July 9, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said 3,815 Iranian law enforcement forces have lost their lives and over 12,000 others have been wounded in the war on drug trafficking over the past 40 years.

Over the past three decades, Iran has seized approximately 11,000 tons of different types of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, he added, saying that in 2018 alone, Iranian forces carried out 1,557 operations against drug traffickers, seizing approximately 807 tons of different types of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

MH/PA

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