An anti-smuggling official in Iran has said the volume of smuggled goods is at least $12.5 billion and only one-third of the goods involved is discovered.
In a television show on Saturday, the head of Iran’s Headquarters for Combating Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange, Ali Moayedi Khorramabadi, said the figure was over $25 billion about 10 years ago, accounting for almost one-third of the country's total trade.
He noted that due to political conditions and economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic trade is not conducted in accordance with international laws, therefore a lot of commodities are smuggled in or out of the country.
He did not clarify whether the figure he mentioned includes goods that enter or exit the country with some sort of authorization by the government or the Revolutionary Guards or other organizations that help Iran circumvent United States’ sanctions.
Moayedi said that some of the smuggled commodities uncovered by authorities, such as flowers and pesticides, are destroyed but some of them such as home appliances and clothes are sold in the market.
He added foreign cars seized by the anti-trafficking organization are usually destroyed because no other country agrees to buy them due to a lack of proper registration and documents.
In January, the Washington Post uncovered a large diesel smuggling network, revealing the role of the Revolutionary Guard in the illicit trade.