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Russia seizes 2.5 tonnes of opium drugs on their illegal way to Russia

July 23, 2014, 12:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In April 2014, the service’s director described the drug production developing on planetary scale as “fostered by the US and NATO” and “the legacy Russia and the world will have to deal with”
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MOSCOW, July 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Federal Drug Control Service seized 2.5 tonnes of opium drugs on their illegal way to Russia over the first six months of 2014, the service’s chief Viktor Ivanov said on Wednesday.

This was a 50% year-on-year increase, he added, in particular a 30% rise in the amount of heroin (1.7 tonnes) and a 150% increase in synthetic narcotics seized (3 tonnes). The drug police prevented 82% of crimes (10,790 of a total of 12,771) in illicit organized drug trafficking. A total of 746 drug syndicates were eliminated.

One of the major Afghan heroin supply channels was detected in late June - the drugs flowing to Siberia through Kazakhstan. The police seized 36 kilograms and ended operations of the transnational group of traffickers.

Drug production is expanding at a high pace. According to the Russian drug service, it has grown 400% over the last 10 years. The country produced up to 90% of global opium a year, or 150 billion single doses. A surge in drug production occurred after the international NATO troops had entered Afghanistan in 2001.

In April 2014, the service’s director described the drug production developing on planetary scale as “fostered by the US and NATO” and “the legacy Russia and the world will have to deal with”.

“We continue information exchange with the DEA, my representatives is in the United States and also continues the work, in addition, DEA officers are staying at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for our joint work,” Ivanov noted.

Over eight million Russians are drug addicts and most of them do not work, head of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov said on Wednesday.

“Drug abusers who number 8.5 million in Russia do not work in most cases. They get money they need for everyday dozes by distributing drugs among other drug addicts or by stealing money or robbing the economically active population to the total amount of about $100 million daily,” Ivanov said.

“Therefore, the country and society lose at least $25 billion in economic demand annually,” the drug control chief said.

More than one million people have been brought to criminal liability for drug-related crimes in the past ten years and about 1.5 million people have been disciplined administratively, he said.

Punitive measures alone cannot solve the problem of drug addiction and drug trafficking. It is necessary to create a national system of rehabilitation for drug addicts as an instrument of society’s systemic decriminalization, the Russian drug control chief said.

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