IRGC smashes large gang smuggling drugs to Europe

May 16, 2021 - 19:28

TEHRAN – The Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has smashed a large gang that was smuggling narcotics to Europe, IRIB reported on Sunday.

In this operation, 590 kilos of heroin, which were skillfully embedded in iron profiles and stored in a shed in the suburbs, were seized in the northwestern city of Tabriz.

Five members of the gang, who were involved in smuggling and transit of narcotics to Europe, have been arrested, three of whom are citizens of a neighboring foreign country and the rest are Iranian.

Naser Aslani, an official with the anti-narcotics police, said on Thursday that more than 43 tons of narcotics have been confiscated from smugglers across the country over the past two weeks.

Also, 939 vehicles and 30 weapons were confiscated as well, he stated, adding, meanwhile, a total of 12,992 culprits have been arrested in connection with plans implemented for dealing with drug trafficking.

Most recently, the police have disbanded two large smuggling gangs in the eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, discovering around 1.1 tons of narcotics.

Battle continues despite sanctions, pandemic

Iran has carried on a battle against narcotics in spite of being highly affected by cruel sanctions and COVID-19 pandemic, Eskandar Momeni, the director of headquarters for the fight against narcotics, said on April 13.

Last year (March 2020 – March 2021), amid the pandemic, Iran participated in more than 20 regional and international events online, in cooperation with the UNODC office in Tehran, he highlighted.

The counter-narcotics agencies and police forces succeeded in detecting about 1,150 tons of various types of narcotics by strengthening the mechanisms for monitoring and exchanging information between the responsible organizations.

This volume of discoveries is a new and unprecedented record in the fight against drugs, which shows a growth of about 41 percent compared to 2019; some 90 percent of the substances found were opium, 26 percent heroin, and 48 percent morphine.

This success has been achieved with the martyrdom of 10 law enforcement and counter-narcotics forces in the global front against drug transit.

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

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.

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