The Iranian Intelligence Ministry says its forces have disbanded a large group of arms traffickers in north-central Alborz province that borders Tehran.
The ministry said on Wednesday that its forces had identified and arrested members of the ring, who were active in several provinces, including Alborz, Tehran, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Isfahan, Sistan & Baluchestan, West Azarbaijan as well as Kerman.
More than 20 key members of the gang were arrested in coordination with the judicial authorities, and a significant number of weapons, ammunition, and vehicles with fake military insignia were seized in the operation, the ministry said.
According to confessions and documents obtained from the group, the members smuggled arms and munitions, narcotics, alcoholic beverages, currency, gold, coins and antiques through forging correspondence and documents and abusing titles of individuals in the Ministry of Intelligence, government institutions, the Judiciary and military bodies.
There are concerns over growing arms trafficking in Iran, with most of weapons imported from the country’s western borders.
Thousands of arms have been illegally smuggled into the country since 2017.
Back in July, the Intelligence Ministry said that its forces had dismantled an arms smuggling ring in Markazi province in central Iran and confiscated a large number of weapons from them.
A large group of arms traffickers were also arrested in the northern province of Golestan in July 2019.
Some 200 illegal weapons were also confiscated in the operation, which was carried out after weeks of monitoring as well as security and intelligence activities.