A court in Colombo, Sri Lanka, ordered the continued detention of nine Iranians caught with 107 kg of heroin this year, local news outlet Ada Derana reported.
Sri Lankan authorities arrested the Iranians on March 24 as they allegedly attempted to smuggle the heroin onboard a fishing boat bound for the island nation, Arab News reported.
Iran and Sri Lanka are in South Asia, home to Afghanistan, the world’s top producer of opium and its heroin derivative despite billions in U.S. taxpayer funds devoted to counternarcotics activities there.
On Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s Ada Derana news outlet reported that a court in Colombo ordered authorities “to further remand the nine Iranians” while law enforcement continues to investigate the matter.
“The Police Narcotics Bureau informed the court that investigations on the matter are still ongoing. Accordingly, the police sought the court to further remand the suspects,” Ada Derana added.
In March, Arab News reported Iranians were able to drop an estimated 500 kg of heroin into the water before authorities took them into custody.
The Taliban and al-Qaeda, which the Pentagon has affiliated with Iran, remain staunch allies. Heroin and opium continue generate most of the Afghan Taliban’s funding, estimated in the hundreds of millions annually.
Breitbart News recently learned that Iran is relying on Afghan criminals who have abandoned drug and human trafficking in favor of smuggling hard U.S. currency into the Islamic Republic to help the Shiite powerhouse evade crippling American sanctions.
Soon after the Trump administration imposed an unprecedented wave of sanctions on Iran last year, the Pentagon’s inspector general accused the Baghdad-sanctioned umbrella organization the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) of being involved in the region’s drug trade. Iran maintains a substantial influence over its neighbor Iraq.
U.S. officials have long linked Iran’s narco-terrorist proxy Hezbollah to drug trafficking activities in the Western Hemisphere.
A top U.S. Department of State (DOS) official told lawmakers this week that the Trump sanctions on Iran are “working,” adding that the restrictions have weakened the Islamic REpublic’s terrorist activities.
Afghan opium is reportedly fueling a surge in opiates addiction in Iran.