Iran recently dismantled an international drug trafficking ring and reportedly executed its leader who was nicknamed the 'Crocodile of the Persian Gulf' along with an accomplice. According to Iran's local media, the executed leader had smuggled more than 400 tonnes of drugs into Iran and laundered approximately $147.3 million into the country's real estate sector. While speaking to a media outlet, the prosecutor said that the other members of the trafficking ring was sentenced to a total of 420 years and fined $154,753.
Hormozgan province chief prosecutor Ali Salehi further reportedly said that the 'crocodile' was operating under different guises and aliases. He was reportedly arrested while transferring more than 100 tonnes of drugs over international waters. Salehi also said that the intelligence operations were ongoing for four to five years to arrest the 36-year-old, but he led one of the biggest and most vicious drug-trafficking networks in Iran and the region.
According to Amnesty International, Iran executed at least 253 people back in 2018. Last year, Iran also executed a 'defence ministry contractor' who was convicted of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency.
The Iranian military said, “The execution sentence was carried out for Jalal Haji Zavar, a contractor for the defence ministry's aerospace organisation who spied for the CIA and the American government”.
A UN independent human rights expert reportedly said that Iran also executed seven child offenders back in 2018 and two last year even though human rights law prohibits the death penalty for anyone under the age of 18. The UN special investigator on human rights in Iran also expressed deep concern at the overall use of the death penalty in the country and reportedly said that the execution rate is one of the highest in the world even after a drop from 507 in 2017 to 253 in 2018. In 2019, he said, “conservative estimates indicate that at least 173 executions have been carried out”.