Iranian police disband drug gang near Pakistan border

January 19, 2021 - 19:1

TEHRAN – Anti-narcotics police destroyed an armed opium trafficking gang and arrested five traffickers in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan sharing borders with Pakistan, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

Over 1.2 tons of opium were discovered in the armed conflict between the police and smugglers in Iranshahr city, Ahmad Taheri, Sistan-Baluchestan’s police chief said.

During the armed operation, a Toyota pickup truck and a Peugeot were confiscated from the smugglers; two weapons with 88 bullets and one illegal hunting weapon were also found, he stated.

On January 5, Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Pakistan’s Minister for Narcotics Control, has pledged to further strengthen cooperation with Iran to combat drug trafficking.

Emphasizing the need to strengthen Iran-Pakistan border cooperation, he welcomed Iran's initiatives and proposals to effectively combat drug trafficking.

Iranian anti-narcotics police Majid Karimi and his Pakistani counterpart, Mohammad Arif Malik announced the agreement to establish an information exchange committee between the Iran-Pakistan anti-narcotics forces.

Iran’s anti-narcotics measures

Iran seized some 1,000 tons of narcotics in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2020), putting the country in first place in the world, Eskandar Momeni, the secretary-general of Iran’s drug control headquarters, said in July 2020.

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

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.

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.

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