0433 GMT February 18, 2019
Security personnel in West Azarbaijan’s customs seized nearly 1,100 kilograms of heroin in a truck which was leaving Iran for Europe.
The drugs consignment, one of the biggest confiscated in recent years, was seized in Bazargan crossing at the border with Turkey on Sunday before an international drug ring could smuggle it into Europe, IRNA reported.
The consignment consisted of plaster panels with the heroin hidden inside the panels.
In a statement, the Intelligence Ministry said the drug shipment weighs 1,075 kilograms and is estimated to worth around four trillion rials.
Director of Bazargan Customs Office Ali Masoumi said the narcotics were found by X-ray systems and trained sniffer dogs.
According to the data provided by Iran's Customs Administration, drug seizure has jumped from 18 tons in 2013 to more than 154 tons in 2017, with a 740 percent increase.
Equipping the country's customs terminals with advanced X-ray systems has significantly contributed to the achievement.
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 three 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.