The Erbil police directorate’s statement mentioned that four suspects were identified and arrested following an investigation launched after local sources alerted the authorities of drug activities in the area.
Lieutenant Colonel Karwan Mirani, head of the Erbil plains sub-district police, said that after they were notified of a “drug-trafficking band in the area, we started our investigation, resulting in the arrest of four suspects between the ages of 20-39.”
“They confessed to their crimes following their arrest,” which included trafficking two illegal substances - heroin and Crystal - which they were caught carrying, as well as drug consumption tools, knives, and eleven mobile phones, Mirani added.
The police chief also said that the four suspect’s cases were presented to a judge, who ordered their detention based on their crimes according to article 14 of the criminal law.
The sale and consumption of any narcotics are strictly forbidden in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
According to the drug-combatting General Directorate’s records, 651 suspected drug dealers and consumers were arrested in the first half of 2019, with 92 kilograms of various narcotics confiscated over the six months.
Most of it is smuggled into the country through its porous border with Iran, on its way to Turkey, Syria, and ultimately Europe and North America.
Local activists and authorities have also warned of the rise in drug consumption and trafficking within the country itself.
Editing by Nadia Riva