KRG intensifies efforts to combat drug trafficking, abuse

In the first four months of this year alone, the KRG Drug Enforcement Directorate reported the arrest of 580 suspects, with 328 individuals involved in buying and selling drugs, and the seizure of 76 kilograms of narcotics.
The logo of The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
The logo of The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is ramping up its efforts to tackle the growing challenges of drug trafficking and drug-related crimes within the region.

According to governmental statistics, over 500 individuals have been arrested on charges related to drug trafficking and use since the beginning of the year.

In a concerted effort to address this issue, teams from the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC)'s Anti-Narcotics Directorate, the Ministry of Health, and a specialized committee in Erbil province conduct regular inspections of cafeterias and restaurants.

These inspections include testing hookah tobacco and screening employees for drug use through scientific medical examinations.

"Our tests include drug tests for all staff working in cafes and restaurants. Anyone who is addicted or using drugs will definitely pass our tests," said Pana Mohammed, a health worker and committee member.

Special committees are tasked with inspecting all cafes and restaurants, including the hookah tobacco used in these establishments. Samples of the tobacco are sent to a large laboratory for thorough testing to ensure they do not contain any illicit substances.

A spokesperson for the Kurdistan Region Security Council's Anti-Narcotics Directorate stated that cafe and restaurant owners must sign a Letter of Compliance, legally binding them to adhere to the guidelines set by the Directorate.

"We are checking the tobacco mixture of cafeterias and restaurants to make sure that these places do not become centers for drug distribution," said Arkan Omar, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Region Security Council's Anti-Narcotics Directorate.

"We ask the owners of cafes and restaurants to sign the Compliance Letters so that they would be legally enforced to comply with our guidelines," he underscored.

Omar emphasized the Directorate's commitment to preventing the Kurdistan Region from becoming a hub for drug trafficking and use. "If drugs are found in any place, we will take the strictest legal action against these establishments," he reiterated.

In the first four months of this year alone, the Kurdistan Region Security Council's Anti-Narcotics Directorate reported the arrest of 580 suspects, with 328 individuals involved in buying and selling drugs, and the seizure of 76 kilograms of narcotics.

The ongoing drug testing campaign for employees of cafes and restaurants aims to protect the citizens of the Kurdistan Region from the dangers of drug abuse. This initiative reflects the KRG's dedication to maintaining public health and safety through stringent enforcement and preventive measures.