Police Seize $2 Million Heroin Cache on Armenia-Turkey Border

A border post along the Armenia-Turkey border

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenian law-enforcement authorities reported on Thursday their biggest-ever seizure of heroin which they said was smuggled to Armenia by Iranian drug dealers through neighboring Turkey.

The Armenian police and the Office of the Prosecutor-General said about 7 kilograms of the Class A drug were discovered late on Monday in a car that was driven by a Russian citizen of Armenian descent and carried an Iranian national identified as Mostafa Advai.

A police statement said the heroin consignment was thrown by an unknown drug trafficker in Turkey over barbed wire stretching along the Turkish-Armenian border and picked up by Advai moments later. It said both Advai and the Russian-Armenian, identified as Hovannes Davtian, were arrested on the spot, near an undisclosed section of the closed frontier guarded by Russian troops.

Another Iranian citizen, identified as Hosein Tazeh Kand, was arrested in the same area earlier on Monday. The police and the prosecutors said law-enforcement authorities found about 5 kilograms of opium in his car. According to the police statement, the drug load was likewise tossed from the Turkish side of the border.

The prosecutors estimated the total black-market value of the confiscated drugs at around $2 million. “The investigation is continuing, and we will additionally report on its results,” read their statement.

The statement said a total of “about a dozen persons,” among them suspected drug dealers and users, have been arrested in an investigation jointly conducted by anti-narcotics units of the Office of the Prosecutor-General and the police. The latter reported only four arrests. Three of the detainees identified by the police are Iranians.

A number of Iranian nationals are already serving prison sentences in Armenia handed down on drug-related charges. Iran is believed to be the main source of drugs smuggled into the country from abroad.

Drug trafficking and addiction in Armenia, although still low by international standards, has increased since independence. According to the Armenian police, the number of officially registered drug-related crimes committed in the country nearly doubled to 539 last year. The police also recorded 690 instances of illegal drug possession, compared with 372 such cases registered in 2008.


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  1. Serge said:

    This is with border closed, imagine how much will get in after the border is opened.

  2. Armanen said:

    You two do realize that drugs cross all borders and that this is no reason not to have open borders. Otherwise the U.S. should close its border with Mexico, we all know how much illegal drugs come to America from Latin America, thru Mexico.

  3. Nairian said:

    Not just that, we have to watch the Iranians too. Armenia has to be a watchdog for all the Iranians coming to Armenia and staying in. They have to watch both the Turkish border and the Iranians. Opium is death to the mankind.

  4. Grigor Markaryan said:

    Does Serzh Sarkissian and his gang know about this news? Tell Sezh to open his eyes and smell the Turkish roses!

  5. Grish Begian said:

    …as I said long before, in a moment border opened up…first thing Turks will do, get into woman trafficking, opium trades, and praying carpet businesses, for Muslim faithfuls in Turkey, and European Muslims …

  6. Grigor Markaryan said:

    Heroin and Genocide is the unique culture of Turkey. The rest they have stolen from other races..

  7. Araxi said:

    Another form of genocide. We can imagine what will happen when the border opens. God forbid!

  8. manooshag said:

    Hye, as the expression goes, with a neighbor like a Turkey…a built-in enemy-dishonest, deceitful, denials and
    more! Drugs! What PLOY next Turkey?

  9. Haytoug said:

    Hurry open the borders so they don’t have to toss the stash over the barbed wires!!!

  10. Grigor Markaryan said:

    Heroin and Genocide are traits of Turkey. They have no other culture.