SULAIMANI – Head of Sulaimani Narcotics Control Directorate Pishtiwan Bahadin said on Tuesday (March 2) that security forces arrested 23 people suspected of narcotic use and trafficking in three drug busts in 48 hours in Sulaimani governorate.
An amount of narcotics of different types and processing tools were seized and three women were also apprehended in the raids, the Asayish directorate said at a press conference.
“Among the arrested people, a number of people were apprehended who were trying to export cigarettes hidden inside electronic devices to outside of the country from the Kurdistan Region,” Bahadin said.
123 suspected were arrested on charges of using and trafficking with narcotics in the past three months, according to the official.
The drug research experts have warned of a rise in drug trafficking and use in the Region.
Over half a ton of drugs were confiscated throughout 2020 and 1,133 suspects were arrested on drug-related charges, according to the Kurdistan Region’s General Narcotics Control Directorate.
Due to its nearness to neighboring Iran, the Kurdistan Region has largely become a transit route for narcotics coming from Iran and central Asia to Europe, with limited but growing domestic consumption, according to officials and activists.