Kuwaiti Coastguards Seize 141 Kg of Hashish
Kuwaiti coastguards on Sunday arrested four Iranian drug smugglers and seized their stash of 141 kilos (310 pounds) of hashish, the interior ministry said.
The suspects were arrested after a coastguard patrol stopped their boat inside the emirate's territorial waters, the ministry said in a statement.
The seizure is the biggest drug haul since Kuwait and Iran last month signed an agreement to combat drugs and terrorism, following a visit by Iranian interior minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari.
Kuwaiti coastguards seized in August and May this year some 973 kilos (2,140 pounds) of hashish and arrested 10 smugglers.
The emirate's cabinet in September approved a comprehensive marine protection project including radar and coast guard sea posts to upgrade security in Kuwait's territorial waters.
The major problem in waging war on drugs remains Kuwait's 290-kilometre (180-mile) coastline facing Iran, a key transit country for narcotics moving west to the Gulf states and Europe from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But despite stiffer penalties, including the death sentence, for drug use and trafficking in this oil-rich emirate, both continue to rise. More than half of the cases which come before judges concern drugs.
Fifty-seven people died of drug overdoses in Kuwait during 1999, up from 28 the previous year and 47 in 1997.
More than 29,000 cases of drug addiction were registered between 1997 and 1991, the year the Gulf Arab state was liberated after seven months of Iraqi occupation -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)