Iran ranks first worldwide in narcotics seizure

July 18, 2020 - 18:21

TEHRAN – Iran seized some 1,000 tons of narcotics in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20), putting the country in the first place in the world, said Eskandar Momeni, the director of headquarters for the fight against narcotics.

This rate of discovery has been the highest in the history of Iran and the world, he stated, IRIB reported on Saturday.

He went on to say that last year has been a brilliant year in terms of drug trafficking control in Iran.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has praised Iran’s efforts to fight against narcotics trafficking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, he said.

The organization also officially announced that the world’s first place in the discovery of opium, heroin, and morphine belongs to Iran, he said.

According to UNODC, Iran remains one of the major transit routes for drug trafficking from Afghanistan to European countries and has had a leading role at the global level in the drug-control campaigns.

UNODC World Drug Report 2020 estimates that in 2018, 91 percent of world opium, 48 percent of the world morphine, and 26 percent of the world heroin were seized by Iran.

Iran’s drug control efforts led to the seizure of 266 tons of different types of drugs during the period of April-June 2020, a 20 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran, Drug Control Headquarters provided and distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other sanitary commodities among street users and NGOs working with drug users.

In the end, the anti-narcotic police and law enforcement of Iran held a burning ceremony of 90 tons of different types of drugs in provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Kerman, and West Azarbaijan, televised through the internet.

After the Islamic Revolution (in 1979), 3,800 were martyred, 12,000 were wounded and disabled in the fight against drug trafficking, Momeni announced.

Afghanistan produced only 200 tons of narcotics in 2000 and 2001, and now that number has risen to 9,000, which is caused by the support and encouragement of the U.S. and other countries in Afghanistan.

“With the set of good measures taken last year, the price of drugs inside the country increased,” he highlighted.

If the price of drugs is cheap and available, the tendency to use them in society will increase, he concluded.

Drug use is a complex health and social problem worldwide, with half a million people dying each year as a result of drug abuse, he lamented, adding, drug use has entered a critical condition, and the international community is determined to tackle the global drug problem.

Hossein Rahimi, a police chief, has said three gangs of international drug trafficking have been recently disbanded in the capital city of Tehran, and 27 dealers were arrested, over 1 ton of narcotics was discovered.

Since the beginning of this year (March 21), 163 international traffickers were arrested and 6 tons of drugs were seized, he noted, adding, police detections of drugs have increased by 25 percent compared to the same period last year.

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