Iran’s anti-narcotics police forces have managed to capture 68 tons of illicit drugs in the southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan during a six-month period, the provincial police chief announced on Monday.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Brigadier General Mohammad Qanbari said during the first six months of the current Iranian year (which began on March 21), the police forces of the province smashed 57 major drug rings and killed 15 armed outlaws.
He said during the mentioned period, 68 tons of various kinds of narcotics have been seized, and 365 drug smugglers were arrested.
The commander added that 85 combat weapons, as well as 350 vehicles and 59 motorcycles were also captured during the six months.
Police and security forces have been quite successful in ensuring security in the province despite its long borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, harsh weather and vast desert areas.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past three decades.
The country has spent more than $700 million on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)