Police forces in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan have confiscated more than 2,000 kilograms of opium in a single operation, a commander said.
Sistan and Balouchestan Province Police Commander General Mohamamd Qanbari said his forces seized the drugs on Friday night when smugglers were carrying the big haul to the city of Saravan.
He said the smugglers in two pick-up trucks began to shoot at the police forces on a road linking Esfandak to Saravan and began to escape with maximum speed, but the Police commandos forced them to stop the vehicles by shooting at them.
The commander said the smugglers left the drug-laden pick-up trucks and fled to the mountains, but the cops captured two of them and found 2,034 kilograms of narcotics, including opium and hashish, in the two vehicles.
Police and security forces have been quite successful in ensuring security in the province despite its long borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, harsh weather and vast desert areas.
Iran, which has a 900-kilometer common border with Afghanistan, has been used as the main conduit for smuggling Afghan drugs to narcotics kingpins in Europe.
Despite high economic and human costs, the Islamic Republic has been actively fighting drug-trafficking over the past decades.
The country has spent more than $700 million on sealing its borders and preventing the transit of narcotics destined for European, Arab and Central Asian countries.
The war on drug trade originating from Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Iranian police officers over the past four decades.