Baku, Azerbaijan, July 16
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
About 124.4 tonnes of drugs have been discovered and seized in Iran in the first quarter of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 21 - June 20), senior Iranian official said.
Deputy secretary-general of the Iranian Anti-Drug Campaign Headquarters, Alireza Jazini went on to add that more than 68,900 drug smugglers and 18,710 drug addicted people were arrested during the three-month period, which indicate increase by 28 percent and 74 percent respectively compared to the same period of preceding year, Iran's Fars news agency reported on July 16.
Police have carried out 491 operations against the smugglers during the period, Jazini said, remarking that the figure is 31 percent more compared to the three-month period of last year (March 21 - June 20, 2013).
He also noted that three police officers were killed in the clashes with armed smugglers during the period.
Police discovered and dismantled 74 methamphetamine production facilities in the country during the period, he 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.
It was reported that some 500 tons of drugs were seized in the country during the 12-month period from 21 March 2013 to 21 March 2014.
The fight against drugs annually costs Iran about $1 billion, according to the official estimates. The statistics also say there are about two million drug users in Iran.