Middle East

Armenia detains two over major heroin haul

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) shakes hands with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian as they meet in Yerevan, on December 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / KAREN MINASYAN

YEREVAN: Armenia has detained two foreign citizens after security forces discovered almost one metric ton of heroin allegedly being smuggled from Iran to Turkey.

A Georgian truck driver was arrested after border guards found some 927 kilograms of heroin in his vehicle while a Turkish national was detained later, Armenia's National Security Service said.

"As a result of a search operation conducted in Yerevan, one of the organisers of the heroin trafficking was detained, a Turkish citizen Osman Ogurlu, 40," the security agency said in a statement released late Sunday.

The huge drug seizure, which occurred at the Megri border crossing between Iran and Armenia, is reportedly the largest ever uncovered by the Armenian authorities.

Officials from Armenia's tax inspectorate estimate that the haul could have a street value of over $100 million (75 million euros).

Iran is thought to be a major transit point for heroin being smuggled from Central Asia through the South Caucasus and into Europe.

This shipment was allegedly set to travel to Turkey via Armenia and then Georgia.





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