Economy, Domestic Economy

More Smuggled Medicine, Cigarettes Confiscated

The anti-smuggling headquarters said imperishable contraband hauls will now be reexported.The anti-smuggling headquarters said imperishable contraband hauls will now be reexported.

The confiscation of contraband medicine and cigarettes registered a fourfold and threefold rise respectively in the eight months to November 20, compared with the corresponding period of last year, according to the Headquarters for Combating Smuggling of Commodities and Foreign exchange.

“Smuggled medicine and cigarettes top the list of items that experienced an increase in confiscation. Close to 181.5 million items of contraband medicine and over 1.7 billion smuggled cigarettes were seized in the eight-month period,” the headquarters’ spokesman, Qasem Khorshidi, was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

“Other confiscations include edibles, seafood products, auto spare parts, electronics, household appliances, rice, fertilizers, medical equipment, weapons, ammunition and satellite equipment.”

The spokesman noted that during the period, the confiscation of contraband gold and automobiles experienced a decline.

  Turning Point

A turning point in the headquarters’ policy was marked on Wednesday, as it announced that imperishable contraband hauls will now be reexported. Previously, such goods were destroyed in public.

Around 400 tons of illegally imported goods, including food items and clothing, worth about $4.2 million were destroyed in Tehran mid-August in what is said to be the largest destruction of contraband in Iran in 38 years.

Based on the new regulation, the seized contraband goods that are imperishable will be sold in auctions and under the condition that they are exported.

Earlier, the headquarters announced that the estimated value of goods smuggled in and out of Iran last year stood at $15.5 billion–27.7% less compared to the previous year, of which $14.4 billion worth of goods were smuggled into and $1 billion were smuggled out of the country.

Apparel, foodstuff, mobile phones, gold ingots and household appliances top the list of incoming contraband, accounting for 41% of the illegal goods.

Fuel is the main item smuggled out of Iran due to its cheap price compared to that in neighboring countries like Turkey and Pakistan.    

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