Over 1.5 tons of drugs seized in 2024: Iraqi Interior Ministry

The New Region

Jun. 11, 2024 • 2 min read
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Iraq's Ministry of Interior seized over 1.5 tons of drugs in the first half of 2024, with a total of five tons seized over two years.

Over 1.5 tons of drugs have been seized across Iraq in the first half of 2024, the country’s Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday.


Speaking to the Iraqi state newspaper, ministry spokesperson Miqdad Miri explained that the quantity of drugs seized in the first half of 2024 exceeded 1.5 tons, while the amount of psychoactive substances seized over the past two years reached five tons.


"This reflects the ministry's intense and continuous efforts to combat the scourge of drugs," he said.


In the same context, Miri noted that judicial sentences issued against convicts reached 122 cases in the past two years, with 51 in 2023 and 71 in the first five months of 2024.


Regarding international warrants, Miri announced that the ministry succeeded in issuing 24 warrants last year and 33 in the first half of 2024.


Additionally, the ministry dismantled 20 international and 204 local networks over the past two years.


The Iraqi General Directorate of Drug Affairs announced last Friday the dismantling of a drug trafficking network in possession of over two million narcotic pills.


In late May, authorities seized approximately 2.5 million Captagon pills in Najaf and Anbar.


Intelligence sources revealed that nearly half of these pills were found in Najaf, with one operation arresting a dealer carrying 40,000 Captagon pills, leading to a larger bust of nearly a million pills hidden in the desert.


Despite imposing severe penalties, Iraq continues to struggle with an escalating drug problem that has intensified since the US invasion in 2003.


The country has transitioned from a transit route for drugs from Iran and Pakistan to a drug manufacturing hub, as noted in a 2022 report by the Washington Institute.


Iraqi security forces have made significant strides, including dismantling seven drug trafficking networks across various provinces and seizing the first Captagon lab in Muthanna in July 2023.


However, the country faces substantial challenges, such as insufficient rehabilitation centers and overcrowded prisons, leading to high relapse rates among former inmates.


Iraq’s stringent narcotics laws, imposing death or life sentences for drug-related offenses, underscore the severity of the crisis but have yet to fully curb the increasing drug use and trafficking.

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