WASHINGTON, November 19 (Itar-Tass) — The annual budget of the Russian Dug Control Service totals 500 million US dollars. Service head Viktor Ivanov reckons that that this is “relatively enough”, but he would like to have more, since the service constantly needs “technical retooling”.
He told this replying to a question by Itar-Tass at a meeting with reporters in Washington on the results of a regular meeting of a related working group of the Russian-American presidential commission on cooperation.
The services’ expenses should be regarded in the context of problems, facing the service. Ivanov noted that the demand for drugs has not only “biological”, but also “financial” measurement. “Superprofits from their production and distribution are assessed at around 800 billion dollars, i.e. some five percent of the world GDP, he noted, adding that this is comparable with incomes from oil sales.
The economic returns from the operation of drug control services “are not even challenged,” the service head continued. “It is believed that the state suffers, on average, losses amounting to three percent of the GDP,” he noted, referring to Anmerican and European appraisals and having in mind outlays, connected with circulation of drugs, including law enforcement, judiciary and penitentiary spheres.
“Besides, the financial system suffers great expenses,” the ranking specialists added. According to Ivanov, 10-15 percent of drugs are seized, on average, from illegal trafficking in the world, but only 0.5 percent of money from their sale. “That is, in actual fact, all money, received from drug sales, is pumped into the world financial system,” explained Ivanov.
He is convinced that “these funds can finance any crimes and any terror activities.” “Drugs in Afghanistan alone yield renewable financial resources to the tune of 65 billion dollars,” stated the service head.
Later, replying to additional questions, he emphasized that “great enough quantities of drugs” are channeled not only through Central Asia, but also though the Caucasus. Hashish is mostly passed to Russia through the Caucasus. Incidentally, “the schedule of trafficking rose approximately ten times over the past three years”, Ivanov continued.
Struggle against money laundering of illegal incomes is one of the main areas of cooperation between Russia and the US in the appropriate working group. This question was discussed in detail also at the present meeting in Chicago.
Besides, Ivanov delivered a report at the centre of strategic and international research in Washington “World drug flows as a leading factor of progressing global financial and economic crisis”. He dwelt at length on transforming international drug cartels into “criminal subjects of geopolitics”, possessing mammoth financial, technological and labour resources.
Therefore, Russia “purposefully forms over the past few years a global anti-drug coalition and strives for recognizing Afghan drug production as a threat to international peace and security,” stressed the head of the drug control service.