The Commander revealed that in intercepted shipments worth over 5 billion rials (roughly $150,000) there has been a 57% increase, and shipments worth between 1 billion and 5 billion rials have seen a rise of 50%.
“Computer equipment, cosmetics, and hygiene products were at the top of the list of contraband goods smuggled into Iran,” he said.
The Regime is most concerned over contraband oil products, which have shown a 53% rise, and smuggled inflammable and explosive products, which have increased by 27%.
Moghimi said that the fight against smuggled contraband and currency is a priority for the police force, who are targeting organized smugglers in particular. They’ve established a special division of the Police Crime Unit dedicated entirely to this fight.
“The special centre’s main duty is monitoring and tracking major smugglers, stopping the flow of contraband products into Iran, and fighting the storing and circulating of illegal goods in the country,” Moghimi said.
The fact that a number of government officials were benefiting from the smuggling was addressed by a senior member of the Regime’s Parliament, Hassan Norouzi, last July.
Norouzi, a representative for the parliament’s Judiciary Committee, said, “A number of governmental institutions are directly or indirectly involved in smuggling.”
In his interview with state-run Fars News Agency (FNA), he mentioned no names, but Norouzi noted that several ministers and the daughter of one minister were actively involved in the smuggling business.
Many believe that Norouzi was referring the daughter of the education minister, Fakhruddin Ahmadi Danesh-Ashtiani, who was accused of smuggling Italian contraband clothing into Iran but was acquitted.
Danesh-Ashtiani was dismissed and replaced by Mohammad Bat’haei, following a cabinet reshuffle.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) write in their September 27th article that, “…if the Iranian Regime truly wanted to stop organized smuggling they would do best to look inside their own ranks. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are the biggest smugglers in the country and the police and the politicians are looking the other way.”
The IRGC control 90 Iranian docks, which is 45% of all docks in Iran, making them uniquely poised to evade smuggling checks. Additionally, they are only accountable to the Supreme Leader.
The IRGC was previous accused of involvement in smuggling in 2011, when then-President Mahmud Ahmadinejad accused them of using its military ports to smuggle cigarettes into Iran.
Ahmadinejad said, “The value [of cigarettes smuggled into Iran] makes any first-class international smuggler greedy, let alone our very own Smuggler Brothers.”