TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Police Chief Brigadier General Ali Moayyedi announced on Saturday that the country’s police have seized 14 percent more illicit drugs in the past 12 months compared with the same period last year.
“This (Iranian calendar) year (started on March 21), 525 tons of illicit drugs were seized across the country, which shows a 14% rise compared with the same period of time in the previous year,” Moayyedi said in a press conference in Tehran.
That included 400 tons of opium and 75 tons of hashish, and the rest of it was heroin and morphine, he added.
A large number of drug trafficking rings have been disbanded and 61 traffickers killed so far, he added.
Moayyedi further noted that during the current year, the police focused on eastern borders, and blocked the entry of a huge share of illicit drugs to the country.
“We witnessed an increase of 100% in the volume of narcotics seized in (the southeastern province of) Sistan and Baluchestan,” he added.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common 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, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug trafficking over the past three decades.
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.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past 34 years.