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Iran makes its biggest ever seizure of opium

08/07/11 Source: Mehr News Agency

The largest ever drug seizure in the history of the Islamic Revolution was made late on Saturday, a provincial police chief announced on Sunday.

Opium poppy fruit exuding latex from a cut

Kerman police chief Hossein Chenarian said the drugs cargo consists of 8,685 kilograms of opium which was seized near the city of Kerman.

Brigadier General Chenarian said there is strong evidence that the haul belongs to a big gang of drug dealers whose members are wanted.

Based on similar incidents, it can be said that the haul has been transited from Afghanistan and maybe it was destined for foreign countries or other provinces, he added.

He went on to say that the type of vehicle and the way the drugs were placed therein, showed that the drugs were loaded in the vehicle behind the borders.

He also estimated the value of the cargo at around $12.3 million and said one of the greatest glories of the Islamic Revolution is its war on drug.

"Since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2011) more than 30 tons of illicit drugs have been seized in Kerman," he added.

With a 900-kilometer (560-mile) border with Afghanistan, Iran has been used as the main conduit for smuggling illicit drugs from its neighbor to drug kingpins in Europe.

In response, the Iranian government has spent over $700 million to seal its borders and prevent the transit of illicit drugs destined for European, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian countries.

Despite the presence of U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan and their extensive public relations campaign about their efforts to eliminate the production and smuggling of drugs, 3,600 tons of opium was produced in Afghanistan in 2010, based on UN statistics and estimates.

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