Six People Arrested In Int’l Opium Smuggling Ring Dubbed ‘Operation Flying Carpets’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two people were taken into custody Thursday morning on Long Island in connection with a international opium smuggling operation.

The pair, identified as 52-year-old Mehrdad Samoukian, of Roslyn Heights, and 59-year-old Mahmoud Mowla, of Middle Village, Queens, was arrested at a home at 226 Warner Avenue in Roslyn Heights in Nassau County.

The alleged operation,
which reads like something out of the movies, involved drugs purchased from nomads on the Afghanistan-Iranian border, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports

The drugs were allegedly hidden in chocolate boxes and rolled up in Persian rugs before being driven to Hamburg, Germany and shipped to New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

The alleged operation even had its own jargon.  Federal authorities said an intercepted cell phone call from one defendant spoke of a price of “Not less than $35 a foot,” meaning $35,000 per kilogram.

north hempstead 20120308 00018 Six People Arrested In Intl Opium Smuggling Ring Dubbed Operation Flying Carpets

622 Warner Avenue, where the FBI arrested two accused of smuggling opium from the Iranian-Afghanistan border. (credit: Al Jones, 1010 WINS)

“I never would have thought that this is something that would’ve been happening on my street,” one neighbor said.

Two others were also rounded up in the Washington D.C. area Thursday morning, while two more suspects were arrested in Iran.

Authorities are still investigating to see how big of an operation it really was, but the smugglers apparently weren’t too happy with their product.

Another cell phone recording, intercepted by federal authorities, caught one suspect complaining about the opium — saying it was garbage and not even Mexican quality.

Shocked by the allegations?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  • Farhad Nazem

    As a hardworking proud Iranian ,I am sorry to hear that, people like this or Shah of sunset do not represent we, as Persian. Looser are always looser.

  • j. Aminoff

    I cannot believe the stupidity of importing Persian Carpets, when the government has put a ban on importing them. This must have been the first eye opener for customs. On top of this, to put drugs in them. They’l deserve what they get.

    Hooray for the Governmkent getting the the drugs before they could hit the street.

  • lulu

    Spring is hear, time to dance….


    Happy New Year Persian Spring and may the novelist, Simin Daneshvar rest in peace.

  • Bullett

    Their (smugglers) magic carpet ride just lost power and crashed. Too bad!

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