Iran busts cartel importing drug precursor chemicals

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s intelligence forces disbanded an international drugs ring in the country’s southern province of Hormozgan that used to import precursor chemicals for producing illicit drugs.

Head of the Intelligence Ministry’s anti-narcotics department told reporters on Monday that 21 tons of drug precursor chemicals has been confiscated in the operation in the coastal province.

A large number of 220-liter barrels containing acetic anhydride acid were found in the operation, the official noted, saying the barrels have been subtly placed in a number of containers.

The traffickers had smuggled the cargo of chemicals from China and Taiwan under the guise of second-hand auto parts, he explained, adding that the cargo was planned to be unloaded in the country before being shipped to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

According to the official, such big haul of chemicals was enough to synthesize nearly seven tons of pure heroin.

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.

By Tasnim News Agency