Stolen Picasso painting found in Diyala, says the Iraqi Ministry of Interior

  • 13-08-2022, 19:33
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    A drug gang was arrested on Saturday, with the possession of a stolen painting by the well-known artist Picasso, valued by millions of dollars according to the General Directorate for Combating Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in the Ministry of Interior.

    The Ministry announced that this came as one of the outcome of its security operations during July, indicating the importance of the citizens role to report drug gangs in order to eliminate them and prevent the spread of narcotics that result in societal crimes.

    "The General Directorate of Narcotics Control relies on intelligence information and in cooperation with the rest of the security services, including the Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Intelligence Service," said the Director of Anti-Narcotics Media Office, Colonel Bilal Sobhi, to the Iraqi News Agency - INA.

    He highlighted, saying "our work depends on the intelligence information provided by the citizens, as the latter plays a large and important role in dismantling many drug networks, by calling the Directorate's toll-free hotline No. 178, which works in all governorates of Iraq, as well as by reporting via the website of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control on Facebook, in addition to the raids and monitoring by our detachments around the places where young people gather," 

    Sobhi explained, "Our detachments carry out periodic K9 inspections in cafes. The work is ongoing and intensive to curb the trade, promotion and use of drugs."

    He pointed out that "the number of the arrested drug dealers, promoters and users for July amounted to 1,300 suspects, in addition to seizing 46 KGs of narcotic substances, as well as 37 KGs of stimulants, including crystal," noting that "this statistic is the outcome of the Directorate's operations so far."

    "The drug trade is linked to many crimes, including murder, theft, kidnapping, rape, gang formation, corruption and family disintegration, until it reaches the antiquities trade," he noted.

    Sobhi stressed that "the Anti-Narcotics Directorate carried out an operation in Diyala Governorate, in which a network of 3 defendants who were involved in the trade and transport of narcotic drugs were arrested, and a painting belonging to the international painter Picasso was seized in their possession, estimated at millions of dollars. It is a major operation that is calculated for the anti-drugs General Directorate."