TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An informed source at Iran’s intelligence ministry announced on Monday that the country’s security forces have managed to identify and apprehend the ringleader of an international cocaine trafficking gang.
The gang leader, who had entered Iran with a fake identity, was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport when he was trying to leave the country, the source said.
He added that the criminal was the leader of an international drugs ring that smuggled various types of narcotics, particularly cocaine, into the country.
In recent decades, Iran has been hit by drug trafficking, mainly because of its 936-kilometer shared border with Afghanistan, which produces more than 90% of the world’s opium.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Islamic Republic is netting eight times more opium and three times more heroin than all other countries in the world combined.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 3,700 Iranian police officers over the past 30 years.