Diyala police forces said they arrested a drug dealer, while attempting to deliver over one kilogram of illicit drugs to a band of drug traffickers.
The arrest took place on Sunday, December 29, 2019 in the center of Khanaqin district northeast of Diyala.
A source from Khanaqin police, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told KirkukNow that “Diyala anti- narcotics police units have contacted us and told us that they were heading to Khanaqin to arrest a wanted suspect.”
“They already had information about this person that he was carrying up to one kilogram of illicit drugs,” the source added.
The source indicated that the suspect who was arrested by the anti- narcotics police unit is not a resident of Khanaqin.
Since the start of 2019, security forces have arrested 30 suspects on charges trading or using illegal drugs in Khanaqin district, according to figures released by the Khanaqin anti-drug police department.
Security sources confirmed to KirkukNow that drug abuse has increased in Khanaqin compared to previous years.
Khanaqin district, located near the border with Iran, is a disputed territory in Diyala province inhabited by a mixed make-up of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.
Khanaqin police say those arrested on charges of using or trafficking drugs are from the different ethnicities, noting that “most of them have admitted of having links to illegal drug traffickers from Iran.”
The police in cooperation with civil society organizations have run numerous awareness raising programs in schools and public places on the risks of using illegal drugs; however, police indicate that these efforts seem to have not been effective in tackling this major societal concern.