Kurdistan Region security stops drug smuggling attempt to Turkey

The security forces (Asayish) of the Kurdistan Region’s Ibrahim Khalil border crossing on Thursday foiled an attempt to smuggle eight kilograms of drugs into Turkey.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The security forces (Asayish) of the Kurdistan Region’s Ibrahim Khalil border crossing on Thursday foiled an attempt to smuggle eight kilograms of drugs into Turkey.

Abdul-Wahab Mohammed, Director of Asayish at the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey, told Kurdistan 24, “we were able to apprehend the culprits along with eight kilograms of crystal drugs.”

“The drugs were hidden inside boards of wood and sprayed with certain spices to prevent police dogs from detecting them,” added Mohammed.

It should be noted that there is often confusion about the term “crystal” in the region since it is commonly used as the local name for two different highly-addictive drugs. One is methamphetamine, known in much of the world as crystal meth, but it can also refer to high-purity street-level heroin, sometimes called “Kerack,” as in this case.

Mohammed also mentioned that according to the security forces’ investigation, the drugs were brought in from Iran and smuggled through the Kurdistan Region to get into Turkey.

On Sunday, the Anti-Narcotics Directorate of the Kurdistan Region announced the arrest of three individuals the previous week in possession of more than five kilograms of various illegal drugs.

The sale and consumption of any narcotics are strictly forbidden in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. Most of it is smuggled into the country through its porous border with Iran, on its way to Turkey, Syria, and ultimately Europe and North America.

In late July, the Asayish announced they had arrested 651 suspected drug dealers and consumers in the first six months of 2019.

Local activists and authorities have also warned of the rise in drug consumption and trafficking within the country itself; however, there are no official statistics on the number of people arrested on drug-related charges, nor are there any statistics on the total number of users in Iraq in general.

Editing by Nadia Riva