The Royal Oman Police has arrested three Asians for cultivating poppy in Bahla town, about 190km north-west of Muscat.
“The Anti Narcotic teams, in cooperation with the Bahla police, have arrested three Asian nationals on charges of growing poppy seeds,” a spokesman for the ROP’s Public Relations Department said, adding that 65 plants were destroyed by the police team after the arrest of the three suspects, who also had heroin in their possession.
The ROP have maintained that the infiltrators, mostly coming from Pakistan via Iran by boat, are posing a big threat to the country’s security and have spread the scourge of drug addiction in the society.
So far, the police have come across cases of addicts or those trying to smuggle drugs into the country via different routes, including traffickers swallowing drugs before arriving at the kingdom’s Muscat International Airport.
Despite the increasing incidence of drugs however, this is the first time that the police have prevented public attempts to grow poppy in the country.
Poppy contains opium and morphine and it is forbidden to grow poppy in Oman.
Meanwhile, anti-narcotic officers arrested a suspected drug trafficker arriving at Muscat International Airport. “The officers at Customs grew suspicious and referred the suspect to the ROP Hospital in Qurum [district],” the spokesman said, adding that scans at the hospital revealed that the suspect had swallowed 94 capsules filled with heroin.
He added that all the suspects were handed over to the Public Prosecution.