IranMiddle East

Iran judiciary calls for tougher rules on smuggled goods

Senior officials in the Iranian judiciary say laws and regulations governing the confiscation and storage of smuggled goods should change amid a crackdown on smuggling which is aimed at providing more support for the country’s manufacturing sector.

Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohammad Ja’far Montazeri said on Monday that the judiciary will seek to change laws on keeping smuggled goods so that none of those goods can enter the markets under legal pretexts.

“If we identify and confiscate a smuggled good but then the good is supplied to the domestic market and offered to consumer, that would hurt the country’s manufacturing,” said Montazeri as he was visiting warehouses run by Iran’s OCSSPI, a government department responsible for managing confiscated goods.

“The smuggled good must either be returned to the country of origin or it should be set on fire,” he said, adding that the judiciary will seek to remove legal arrangements allowing a resupply of the smuggled goods into the markets.

The comments came just after Iranian judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i criticized the OCSSPI for its way of handling the smuggled goods in its storage houses across Iran.

Mohseni-Eje’i on Friday visited a warehouse in the capital Tehran run by the OCSSPI, a government body which is controlled by Iran’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.

Experts say goods smuggling incurs billions of dollars worth of losses on the Iranian economy each year. They insist the problem has been exacerbated by lax government controls both on the country’s vast borders and in the mainland.

Government’s crackdown on smuggling has been toughened in recent years as a sign of increased support the local manufacturers and amid efforts in the country to rely less on imports in order to offset the impacts of US sanctions.

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