ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi authorities on Friday announced they had arrested a group of Iranians and Iraqis who were involved in smuggling a large quantity of drugs through one of the border crossings with Iran.
In an official statement, the Iraqi Border Crossing Authority said it had arrested three Iranians who each carried an estimated 20 grams of the illegal Trika drug, commonly known as Xanax.
The border security added it had also detained two Iraqis coming from Iran who were in possession of 40 grams of Xanax stashed in their minibus.
According to the statement, the five suspects were arrested earlier in the week in two separate operations as they tried to cross the Zurbatiyah border crossing in the Wasit Governorate, southeast of Baghdad.
A spokesperson for the Border Crossing Authority said legal measures would be taken against the detainees, adding they would be referred to the judiciary, without providing further details.
Friday’s announcement brings this month’s arrest of narcotics smugglers from Iran who have been held by Iraqi authorities to five.
Over the past years, Iraqi authorities have arrested many Iranians on drug smuggling charges, while many Iraqis have been arrested on the same charges or because of abuse and trafficking.
Last November, a local anti-drug directorate announced the confiscation of millions of illegal pills in the province of Sulaimani.
Jalal Amin Beg, the Director of the anti-drug directorate in Sulaimani, said the drugs were brought to Kurdistan from surrounding countries, noting they were not produced in the Region.
In 2017, at least 192 people were arrested for drug use and trafficking. A year prior, 310 people were arrested in Sulaimani for consuming and dealing drugs.