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Russia cuts short Afghan heroin route to Siberia

July 09, 2014, 22:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The confiscated consignment consisted three kilogrammes of heroin worth more than a million roubles
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, July 09, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) working in cooperation with Kazakhstani forces closed an Afghan heroin trail to Siberia and confiscated 36 kilogrammes of the drug in late June, the Russian service said on Wednesday.

Narcotics disguised as consumer goods were bound for Novosibirsk region in a pattern of regular trading, officials said.

The confiscated consignment consisted three kilogrammes of heroin worth more than a million roubles. The drug was peddled through caches.

The haul bore the sign of a lion and was tied with an Arabic ligature, officers said.

According to Itar-Tass sources, batches bearing a similar ‘trademark’ - the sign of a lion, a globe and a flying bird with an Arabic ligature around - have caught the attention of Russia's special agencies twice in recent years: in May 2010 in the Urals and in 2009 in the Orenburg region bordering on Kazakhstan when a large transit batch of high-purity heroin was arrested.

In Afghanistan production of narcotics is skyrocketing, with a 400% increase in the past ten years, the FSKN says. Year on year, up to 90% of of the global supply of opiates are fabricated there, constituting 150 billion single doses.

Thus, drugs production has surged drastically after the NATO international contingent was deployed in Afghanistan in 2001.

In April 2014, the Russian anti-drugs chief, Viktor Ivanov, said: “Today the world and Russia are inheriting the global-scale production of narcotics nurtured by NATO and the United States.

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