TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the anti-narcotic squad of Iran's Law Enforcement Police General Hamid Reza Hossein-Abadi said that seizure of synthetic drugs has remarkably grown in recent months, which he warned, means a dangerous change in addiction behaviors in the country.
Speaking to FNA, the commander said that the Iranian police forces have seized over 276 tons of narcotics during the first 8 months of the current Iranian year (started on March 21, 2010), including 16.8 tons of crack (condensed heroin).
Hossein-Abadi noted that the figure shows a 6.8 tons increase compared with the same period last year.
"The volume of opium seizures has decreased during the same period while there has been an increase in the seizure of heroin, crack in particular, since drug-traffickers have turned to heroin which is smaller in size and has lower transportation and smuggling costs and is highly profitable for them," the commander stated.
Synthetic drugs have recently been smuggled and distributed in Iran by drug-traffickers who seek to change addiction behaviors in the country and redirect addicts' tendency from conventional drugs, such as opium, heroin and hashish, to those narcotics mostly prevalent in the West, like cocaine, crack, crystal meth and LSD.
Hossein-Abadi further added that the police have disbanded 1079 rings involved in drug-trafficking activities throughout the country and arrested 157, 900 drug dealers during the last 8 months.
Iran leads international efforts in fighting drug networks and narcotic traffickers. According to the statistical figures released by the UN, Iran ranks first among the world countries in preventing entry of drugs and decreasing demand for narcotics.
The United Nations credits Iran with the seizure of 80 percent of the opium netted around the world.
Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian police have lost more than 3700 of their personnel in the country's combat against narcotics.
Eastern Iran borders Afghanistan, which is the world's number one opium and drug producer. Iran's geographical position has made the country a favorite transit corridor for drug traffickers who intend to smuggle their cargoes from Afghanistan to drug dealers in Europe.
Each year, the Iranian government spends hundreds of millions of dollars erecting barriers along the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan and pumping resources into checkpoints. Officials said the battle against drug addiction and trafficking costs Iran US$1 billion a year.
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Commander Warns of Addicts' Tendency to Synthetic Drugs