Kurdistan Region security forces arrest four drug dealers amid rising crackdown

The dealers were “trading, buying, and selling” the illicit drugs, a fight against which has intensified in recent years.
Confiscated narcotics, US and Iraqi currency are on display. (Photo: Kurdistan Region anti-narcotics authority)
Confiscated narcotics, US and Iraqi currency are on display. (Photo: Kurdistan Region anti-narcotics authority)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s security forces have arrested at least four drug dealers and confiscated a kilogram of narcotics in a recent operation, as a crackdown on the illicit drugs intensifies.

The forces arrested “four dangerous” narcotic dealers in an operation conducted based on prior intelligence, according to a statement from the Region’s anti-drugs authority.

The dealers were “trading, buying, and selling” the illicit drugs, a fight against which has intensified in recent years.

The security forces confiscated a kilogram of narcotics, including heroin and methamphetamine, the statement added.

The Kurdistan Region’s anti-narcotics forces have ramped up efforts to arrest drug dealers, including top traders, as they are merely responsible for spreading the dangerous substances, according to Brigadier Hussein Namiq, the head of the authority, speaking at a conference recently.

In mid-October, the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called for forming a “joint international strategy” to combat the rising threats from narcotics in a conference in Erbil, where faith leaders, diplomats, and local officials gathered to discuss tackling the issue.

In late August, over 100kg of narcotics were seized in Erbil, including Captagon pills, crystal methamphetamine, and heroin.

Kurdistan 24 previously reported that 80% of drug users in the Kurdistan Region are between 18 and 35 years old. 10% of drug users are women and 4% are under 18 years old.

In April 2023, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Finance and Economy established a Drug and Psychotropic Substances Fund to provide treatments for substance abusers and financial rewards to those who turn in illegal drugs to local authorities.