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Iran seizes tons of drugs on its way to Europe

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Iranian police have seized 8.8 tonnes of narcotics destined for Europe and arrested one of the country’s largest smuggling networks, police said on Monday.

“The drug shipment was hidden inside a fuel tank and arrived across Iran’s eastern border. It was supposed to be unloaded and then smuggled into European countries,” state television said.

“Despite international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran remains a global bulwark against the smuggling of deadly materials,” he said.

“The seized cargo is 3.5 tonnes of morphine and 5.3 tonnes of opium,” deputy police chief Ayoub Soleimani said.

Nine suspects were arrested with 20 kilograms of heroin and 130 firearms.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, with about 90 percent of the world’s production of the drug, extracted from the poppy plant, also used to make heroin and morphine.

Iran seizes and destroys hundreds of tons of illicit drugs each year.

According to recent UN estimates, “Iran’s seizure in 2017 is equivalent to 91 percent of global opium seizures, 20 percent of heroin seizures, estimated at 630 tons and morphine at 39 tons.”

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