Iran tightening noose on human traffickers through new customs equipment: official

Press TV – An Iranian customs office spokesman says the number of discoveries related to human trafficking and other forms of smuggling have increased over the past years thanks to tighter checks on the borders through modern screening equipment.

Seyyed Rouhollah Latifi said on Thursday that the number of human trafficking cases discovered in customs offices in Iran between March and September this year had doubled compared to 2018.

Latifi said a total of 818 people, most of them Afghan nationals, had attempted illegal crossing from the Iranian borders into other countries over the nine-month period.

“Some 203 legal complaints have been lodged in relation to these 818 people,” said the official, adding, “This number of discoveries shows a 100-percent increase compared to the similar period last year.”

Latifi said Iran’s overall record in crackdown against human trafficking had improved since 2015 when the country began to use modern screening equipment in the border offices.

He said a total of 1,862 cases of human smuggling mostly into the countries to the northwest of Iran had been discovered between March 2015 and September 2019.

“Through electronic systems and using modern check equipment and devices, Iran’s customs service has had a day-to-day growth in the field of discovery of various types of trafficking for goods, narcotics and humans,” he said.

Reports in the Iranian media last year suggested that the customs service in the border post of Bazargan, the most northerly crossing points between Iran and Turkey, had managed to detain a notorious graft convict while he was hidden inside the container of a lorry trying to cross the border.