Babylon & Beyond

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IRAN: Police seize 220 lbs. of crystal meth as drug war drags on

April 15, 2010 |  5:14 pm

Iran's has been battling the opium and heroin trade for years, but it appears now that a new homemade substance has found an market in the Islamic Republic.

Authorities confiscated 220 lbs of crystal methamphetamine and arrested one person Thursday in the southeastern town of Hirmand, state television reported.

In 2005, a study by the United Nations found that Iran had the highest drug addiction rate in the world, with 2.8% of the population addicted, mostly to opium and heroin, much of which was smuggled in from neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Iran has stepped up its war against drugs in recent years, but an upshot of less opium and heroin entering the country could be a rise in substances such as crystal meth, which pose a greater challenge to drug enforcement authorities because it can be made from common household products that bought legally.

On Sunday, authorities in the northwest announced the seizure of over a ton of illicit drugs in the last two months alone.

Karim Akbari, the local anti-narcotics squad leader, was quoted Sunday by Fars news agency as saying that his team had also arrested 70 traffickers and 501 dealers over the same period.

— Meris Lutz in Beirut



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