ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish security forces (Asayish) on Monday arrested a band of drug traffickers and seized over 45 kilograms of heroin.
The General Directorate of Combating Narcotics in the district of Akre said the arrested group of drug traffickers consisted of three individuals who wanted to use the Kurdistan Region as a gateway to transfer narcotics from Iran.
Elsewhere, at the Bashmaq border crossing between the Kurdistan Region and Iran, authorities arrested an Iranian national after they discovered narcotics hidden inside a secret compartment in his truck.
According to the border control directorate, the driver was trying to smuggle 888 grams of illicit drugs into the Kurdistan Region.
Local security forces routinely confiscate various kinds and amounts of drugs on the borders and districts that connect the autonomous Kurdish region and Turkey, with nearly all being smuggled from Iran.
Over the past few years, authorities in Kurdistan have expressed their concerns over the rising number of drug consumers and traffickers in the region.
In recent years, Iraqi authorities have also arrested multiple Iranians and Iraqis for smuggling drugs into Iraq.
There are no official statistics on the number of drug-related detainees in Iraqi jails, nor are there figures on the total number of substance abusers.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany