Afghan truckers call for action against armed bandits in Iran

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Armed individuals have robbed transit trucks bringing goods to Afghanistan from Iran, the drivers complained.

They said that the armed people pose a high security threat to drivers and other people importing products from Iran.

“There is no security… They steal everything, such as the truck’s lights. They open the truck’s cabinet. We can’t run from them,” said Arash, a driver.

“They come with weapons and hit the truck’s door and then steal everything,” said Asghar, a driver.

Officials in Herat said they have shared the problem with Iranian officials.

‘We have submitted all the problems–like the robbery of drivers–to the Iranian officials. The (Iran) side pledged to tackle the problems,” said Mahajar Farahi, head of the Herat custom. The Iranian officials pledged to pursue the issue.

“We consider ourselves committed to legally investigate the complains over the mistreatment of your (Afghan) nationals and drivers–that have a tremendous role in economic development between the two countries,” said Mohmmad Sadiq, Iran’s consular official in Herat.

Hundreds of trucks commute between Afghanistan and Iran each day exporting and importing products on a daily basis. The driver hoped the existing problems will be solved soon.

Meanwhile, as trade relations is increasing between Afghanistan and Iran, illegal import of goods from Iran to Afghanistan has also increased, according to Afghanistan Chambers Federation (ACF).

The volume of the goods coming to Afghanistan through smuggling from Iran and Pakistan is equal to the level of the goods coming legally and the trend severely damaging domestic production, the ACF chief Khan Jan Alokozai said.

“Fifty percent of goods is imported legally and 50 percent illegally, not only from Iran, but also from Pakistan. This trend puts severe implications on our economy,” Alokozai added.

He said that illegal import of goods from Iran has doubled following COVID-19 outbreak. The Afghan Ministry of Industry and Commerce said the government is taking proper measures to prevent illegal import of goods.

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