Baku, Azerbaijan, March 13
By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:
Iran has swapped five inmates serving prison sentences in the Republic of Azerbaijan for six Azerbaijani prisoners serving their sentences in the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Ambassador to Baku, Mohsen Pak Ayeen has said that the swap took place on March 12 through Astara border crossing.
Pak Ayeen wrote on his Facebook page that the swap came as a result of implementation of a judicial agreement between Tehran and Baku.
According to the ambassador the inmates will serve the rest of their prison terms in the home countries.
He further added that the Iranian inmates will be kept in health quarantine in Gilan Province temporarily before being handed over to prisons.
Earlier in March 1, Iranian embassy's press office announced that at a meeting in Baku, Azerbaijani Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov and Ambassador Pak Ayeen discussed the inmates swap.
A considerable number of Iranian nationals serving in Azerbaijan's prisons are convicted of drug-related offenses.
Commander of Iran's Border Police Brigadier-General Qasem Rezaei has told Trend that Iranian police have seized about 600 kilograms of narcotics within the past 11 months, which were to be trafficked into Azerbaijan.
Despite the efforts made by Iranian law enforcement bodies to stop it, drug trafficking still remains as a serious issue for Tehran as the Islamic Republic shares about 2,000 km long border with Afghanistan and Pakistan where drugs are trafficked into Iran.