Baku, Azerbaijan, March 13
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's border police seized some 1.2 tons of opium in the south eastern Province of Sistan and Baluchestan, commander of the province's border police, Hassan Asadollahi said, the country's IRNA news agency reported on March 13.
The police seized narcotics during an operation against armed drug smugglers last night near Saravan city. The smugglers left their opium loads and escaped inside Pakistan after the police operation, the report said.
Iran is situated on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Gulf States. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometres of common border with Afghanistan, over which 74 percent of opium is smuggled.
According to the official estimates, the fight against drugs annually costs Iran about $1 billion. The statistics also say there are about two million drug users in Iran.
It was reported that 500 tons of drugs were seized during the last solar year (ended on March 21, 2013) and more than 465 tons during the first eleven months of the current solar year.
Edited by C.N.