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Russia drug control chief suggests criminal responsibility for websites advertising drugs

December 24, 2014, 11:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
State authorities have taken these measures after a raft of smoking mixture poisonings in Russian cities
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitriy Rogulin

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Chief of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov has suggested introducing criminal responsibility for creation and promotion of websites advertising synthetic drugs.

“We should consider introduction of criminal responsibility for creation, promotion and giving of technical aid to Internet resources which advertise and sell synthetic drugs,” he said at a meeting of the state anti-drug committee.

Equipment which provides for operation of similar websites should be confiscated, he noted. The drug control chief also suggested imposing restrictions for search engines in the Internet to avert spice trade at them. The drug watchdog creates a complex department which will fight spice trade in the Internet, Ivanov said.

State authorities have taken these measures after a raft of smoking mixture poisonings in Russian cities. According to reports in late October, more than 40 died of spice abuse and more than a thousand were taken to hospital. The largest number of poisoning cases was reported in the Arctic Khanty-Mansi autonomous area, Kirov region in the north-east of European Russia and in southern Ural republic of Bashkortostan.

Register of websites selling drugs

Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service and media watchdog Roscomnadzor have created a register of websites that will be banned for selling drugs, Roscomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said on Wednesday.

“We have a register of 'bad' websites, which conduct the sale of drugs. It already includes 89 websites,” Zharov said, adding that the websites’ domain names are blocked automatically.

Most websites that advertise drugs, are registered abroad, and when they are blocked, their administrators take counter-measures and change IP-addresses. “A number of these websites have done this around 30 times a year,” he said.

A law which allows shutting down websites devoted to drug use, suicide promotion and pedophilia took effect in Russia in 2012. From February 1, the register also includes websites calling for extremism and social unrest.

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