Drug, livestock smuggling depots discovered

November 20, 2020 - 19:15

TEHRAN – Police forces have seized large quantities of smuggled narcotics and livestock in the southern provinces of Hormozgan and Sistan-Baluchestan.

Border guards at the Qeshm naval base in Hormozgan province discovered the location of a 1,135 cattle smuggling depot.

Cattle were kept for illegal export to the Persian Gulf countries.

According to experts, the value of the smuggled cattle discovered is estimated at 30 billion rials (nearly $714,000).

Also, in another operation, 758 kilograms of opium were found in a house in Khash city of Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Smugglers fined $570m 

Until November 16, smugglers of fuel and livestock have been fined 24 trillion rials (about $570 million) since the beginning of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 21), representing a 47 percent increase compared to the same period last [Iranian calendar] year.

Out of a total of about 42,000 smuggling cases, about 28,000 were related to export smuggling, of which 20,000 are related to the smuggling of fuel and petroleum products, mostly to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent to Turkey and Iraq.
A number of these cases are related to livestock trafficking. Most of the cattle are smuggled to Iraq, and then to the Persian Gulf countries.

Every year, $20-25 billion are smuggled in and out of the country, which, if stopped, will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, Hassan Norouzi, member of the Parliament said.

In the Iranian calendar year 1396 (March 2017- March 2018), $12 billion was smuggled into Iran and $900 million out of the country, according to the Headquarters for Combating the Smuggling of Commodities and Foreign Exchange.

Iran, which has a 900-kilometer 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, Iran has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past decades.

Earlier in June, the first phase of the national anti-smuggling plan has been implemented with the priority of customs, tobacco, and transit goods nationwide.

Iran fighting against narcotics 

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, Eskandar Momeni, the director of headquarters for the fight against narcotics said in July.

UNODC has praised Iran’s efforts to fight against narcotics trafficking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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