Security forces (Asayish) in the Kurdistan Region detained two Iranian nationals in Erbil on Monday, December 23, 2019, who attempted to smuggle drugs into the country.

According to a statement by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Anti-Drug Directorate, the suspects had disguised the narcotics as Christmas gifts and were trying to traffic them to Canada.

The identities of the two Iranians were not revealed. However, the statement said the two were “sent to court to receive punishment,” and that an investigation was underway.

The sale and consumption of any narcotics are strictly forbidden in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

In late July, the Asayish announced they had arrested 651 suspected drug dealers and consumers in the first six months of 2019.

Local activists and authorities have also warned of the rise in drug consumption and trafficking within the country itself; however, there are no official statistics on the number of people arrested on drug-related charges, nor are there any statistics on the total number of users in Iraq in general.

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