160 people detained for narcotics use, trafficking in Sulaimani: authorities

Drugs smuggled in toys, pillows
Head of Anti-Drug Directorate in Sulaimani Jalal Amin Bag (C) speaks in a press conference in Sulaimani, June 26, 2019.

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SULAIMANI — The security forces have arrested 160 people for drug use and trafficking in Sulaimani province over the past six months, authorities said on Wednesday (June 26).

In a press conference marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Head of the Anti-Drug Directorate in Sulaimani Jalal Amin Bag said that narcotics are a growing issue in the Kurdistan Region.

More than 500 kilograms of heroin were seized in the first six months of the year, Amin Bag added.

“This is of great danger to the society and security of the Region,” he said in the press conference.

He noted that most of the drugs that had been seized were smuggled in children's toys and in pillows and were destined for countries outside the Kurdistan Region.

In April, Amin Bag said the security forces arrested a suspect who had sent drugs to Canada from the Kurdistan Region.

“Drug users are fighting against police and they are close to becoming dangerous bands,” he noted, referring to the difficulty that police have in apprehending suspects.

248 people were detained in 2018 for drug possession in Sulaimani governorate, compared with 310 people in 2017 and 260 in 2016, according to statistics by the directorate.

According to security officials, some of the drugs that they seize are imported illegally from Iran.

(NRT Digital Media)