May 7, 2011
Director General of the Zahedan Ministry of Justice Public Relations, Ahmad Zahed Sheikhi, was arrested on the charge of being involved with drug trafficking. He is a former IRGC member and member of the Army Staff for Combating Drug Trafficking in Zahedan Province.
He was arrested for carrying with him 500 kilograms of drugs in his government vehicle.
According to local sources, there were 450 kilograms of opium and 50 kilograms of heroin with him, along with a warrant and weapons. He was stopped by police officers at the Sahlabad Station where they discovered the drugs.
A reliable source in an interview with Iranbriefing claimed that though Sheikhi was rumored to be a drug smuggler for a long time, and apparently this was not the first time he was smuggling. The source stated that the public disclosure of this issue and his arrest are unrelated to the latest struggles between the Supreme Leader and President Ahmadinejad, despite the fact that Zahed Sheikhi and his brother headed the Ahmadinejad election campaign in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, and another brother Mohammad Reza Zahed Sheikhi is the Director General of the Sistan and Baluchestan Province Ministry of Cultural and Islamic Guidance.
It is said that official sources have not published any report about Zahed Sheikhi’s arrest. However, local sources indicate that he was arrested at a police station. Officers thought his resistance to having his car searched was suspicious. After discovering the drugs and seeing the warrant and documents that confirmed the car was government-owned, officers were initially suspicious of his identity. Senior officials confirmed this issue and are asking for his detention.