Iran Intensifies War on Drug
TEHRAN (FNA)- The anti-drug squads of the Iranian Law Enforcement Police have intensified their countrywide campaign against drug-trafficking through staging long-term systematic operations in recent months.
The Iranian anti-narcotic police have always staged periodic, but short-term, operations against drug traffickers and dealers, but latest reports - which among others indicate an improved and systematic dissemination of information - reveal that the world's most forefront and dedicated anti-narcotic force (as UN drug-campaign assessments put it) have embarked on a long-term countrywide plan to crack down on the drug trade since the beginning of the current Iranian year (starting on March 20).
Commander of the anti-drug squad of Iran's Law Enforcement Police announced early January that the country's police forces have discovered 340 tons of different types of illicit drugs during the last nine months.
"More than 340 tons of drugs have been seized all over Iran in the past nine months," General Hamid Reza Hossein-Abadi said.
"Over 25 tons of the seized drugs were heroin and morphine," he went on saying.
"According to official statistics, more than 80 percent of the drugs were seized in eight border provinces, especially in the country's eastern borders," he further explained.
Hossein-Abadi also pointed out that the Iranian police have so far arrested 170,000 drug dealers in various parts of the country.
Later, Commander of the Iranian Police Border Guards Unit General Hossein Zolfaqari confirmed that the country's police forces have seized 340 tons of different types of illicit drugs during the last 9 months.
"During the nine months of this (Iranian) year (started on March 21), 340 tons of different types of narcotics have been discovered and seized by the border guards unit," he noted.
The commander added that the volume of police discoveries has increased by 17% compared with the similar period last year.
Zolfaqari further announced that the Iranian police force has intensified surveillance over border activities and increased border entanglements in recent years.
A survey of the recent police discoveries reveals the tangible increase in the activity and operations of the Iranian anti-narcotic squads.
Commander of the anti-drug squad of Iran's northwestern province of West Azerbaijan Karim Akbari recently told reporters that during the last nine months, his troops have discovered and seized 9.423 kg of different types of narcotics in the province.
He added that the provincial police force has made 3452 arrests during the same period, including 2126 drug dealers, 417 drug traffickers and 909 criminals involved in hiding illicit drugs.
The commander also announced that police have disbanded 50 drug gangs during the last 9 months.
Also a statement issued by the office of Karaj's public prosecutor this month said that more than 6,256 kg of opium was seized from drug traffickers in 2 separate operations by Iran's anti-drug squad in the northern Iranian city.
In related developments, Commander of Iran's northern province of Golestan's police forces Hamid Attaei said that during the last 9 months of the current Iranian year a volume of 2,260 kg of different types of narcotics has been seized in the province.
The police have arrested 1352 drug traffickers and dealers in the same period, he said.
Attaei further announced that police have disbanded 95 rings involved in drug-trafficking activities in the province during the same period.
Police forces also have disbanded 101 rings involved in drug-trafficking activities in the country's central province of Isfahan since the beginning of the current Iranian year.
Meantime, Commander of Isfahan's police forces Seyed Hamid Sadr ul-Sadat also said that a total 20,312 kg of different types of narcotics have been seized in the province during the same period.
The Iranian police also disbanded a Meth-trafficking ring in the country's northeastern province of Northern Khorassan.
"The ring, involved in the production, procurement and trade of Crystal (methamphetamine), was identified after intelligence and tips revealed organized (criminal) activity," Commander of Northern Khorassan's Anti-Drug Squad Ali Paakdel told FNA.
The commander said that intelligence operations carried out by the police unveiled that the ring was producing Methamphetamine in a lab.
Earlier in December, Commander of Tehran's Anti-Drug Police Force Colonel Javad Kashfi said in an exclusive interview with FNA that Tehran's anti-drug officers have discovered 14 kg of Crystal, which is an unprecedented volume (of meth discovery) in Tehran.
The United Nations credits Iran with the seizure of 80 percent of the opium netted around the world in 2007, but unilateral measures are not good enough to stop or, at least, decrease the drug trade in Iran as Iran lies on a transit corridor between opium producers in Afghanistan and drug dealers in Europe.
A total crackdown on drug traffickers with long-term effects necessitates active involvement and investment - both in terms of capital and man power - by the target countries, specially in Europe.
The Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has had a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.
Afghan and Western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying the allies have 'overlooked' the drug problem for the seven years since the invasion of the country.
Sunday 24 Jan 2010
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