عربي | كوردى



Officials warn of increasing use of illicit drugs in Iraq’s disputed Kirkuk

Officials warn of increasing use of illicit drugs in Iraq’s disputed Kirkuk

2019/05/04 | 11:05

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Over the past three months, security forces in the province of Kirkuk have arrested 60 people for using or selling illicit drugs, a police source said on Saturday.

Among them, 20 were drug dealers who admitted after their arrest that they brought controlled substances in from neighboring Iran with the support of local high-ranking officials, the source added.

Though recreational drug use has historically been rare in Iraq when compared to other countries, experts say that multiple kinds have recently begun to be distributed in local schools and cafeterias.

“Now, the drugs are gaining popularity in secondary schools. It’s given to students inside shawarma,” Daliya Subhi, a sociologist in Kirkuk, told Kurdistan 24.

It was unclear if she meant that the substances were hidden inside shawarma as part of a plan to clandestinely hand them over to students, or if she was saying that the drugs were ingested by eating them within a meal, which would appear unlikely. 

She added that such drugs have also been found in some primary schools.

“It is given to students in gel form,” she added. 

Kirkuk is a disputed territory claimed by both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq. The population is ethnically diverse, made up of Arabs, Turkmen, Christians, and a Kurdish majority.

“Unfortunately, there was a case in Kirkuk in which a man tried to have sex with his sister and mother under the influence of illicit drugs,” Salah Obeidi, the head of the human rights committee in Kirkuk University, told Kurdistan 24 on Saturday. 

“The drugs are gaining more popularity in Kirkuk and unfortunately the doors are open for importing it,” Raouf told Kurdistan 24 without offering further details.

He called on all security forces in the province to cooperate to prevent the drugs from coming in. 

Hooma Raouf, the head of the anti-drug department in Kirkuk, explained that the most commonly-used substances among the illicit drugs in the province is known as crystal. 

It should be noted that there is often confusion about the term "crystal" in the region since it is commonly used as the local name for two different highly-addictive drugs. One is methamphetamine, known in much of the world as crystal meth, but it can also refer to a high-purity street-level heroin, sometimes called kerack. 

Iraqi and Kurdish authorities often intercept shipments of such drugs passing through Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, mainly in the provinces of Basra, Diyala, Erbil, and Sulaimani. Most of it is smuggled into the country through its borders with Iran and include heroin, opium, marijuana, methamphetamines, and pills on their way to Turkey, Syria, and ultimately Europe and North America.

Editing by John J. Catherine







TRENDING News



Latest News Today






Videos and Photos


TRENDING NOW