An Iranian official says a dangerous type of illicit drug is being smuggled into the country from a number of European states.
Head of the Iranian Customs’ Drug Enforcement Department Nematollah Moomvandi has warned against the organized smuggling of a particular type of marijuana into Iran from certain European countries, including Britain.
Marijuana, also known as cannabis and weed, is a narcotic drug made from the leaves of the hemp plant.
Moomvandi said the drug smuggled into the Islamic Republic is, in fact, the seeds from which hemp grows.
He said the seeds have been discovered in such items as toys, tablets, hairbrushes, slippers, decorative items and belts sent in by post.
“The seeds of this dangerous plant have been delivered to the country in postal packages and, of course, discovered by customs agents since June last year. In 2016, 204 cases of hemp seeds stashed in incoming postal packages were registered on the list of the items discovered by the customs, which is a considerable figure.”
He said the drug kept being smuggled into the country in postal packages on a larger scale in the second quarter of 2017, but was intercepted as well.
“Iran has lodged its protest with the European Union via the foreign ministry because these countries don’t control their borders to counter drug trafficking.”
He said hemp seeds seem to be smuggled in an organized manner.
“The [Iranian] Customs has supplied the necessary information to the [country’s] Drug Control HQ, Intelligence Ministry and Police,” he noted.
As for why narco-traffickers have turned to smuggling this particular type of drug, he said the key reasons are that it is a lucrative trade, and the drug can easily be transferred in the form of seeds.
“It is said that every single seed of the plant has a [street] value of around Rls. 10 million [over $250],” he said.
“Another problem with this new drug is that it can easily be planted at home, which makes it difficult for authorities to control its production and distribution.”
Experts have done genetic research work on the plant, whose narcotic content was 6%, and managed to produce a new plant with a 25-percent narcotic content. The new plant can easily be grown in a flower pot.