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Some 3.5 tons of Afghan heroin worth $1 billion seized in Russia in 2014

March 30, 2015, 11:51 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG
Last year, the drug control service solved 10,000 crimes linked to drug trafficking
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 Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service operatives during exercise

Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service operatives during exercise

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

YEKATERINBURG, March 30. /TASS/. Law enforcement agencies have seized 3.5 tons of Afghan heroin worth more than $1 billion, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) head Viktor Ivanov said on Monday.

FDCS was responsible for seizing 2.5 tons of heroin, Ivanov noted. "FDCS deals with seizing large batches of drugs, such as Afghan heroin. In their turn, Russian Interior Ministry’s departments clear the consumer market from already diluted drugs," he added.

Infographics Opium production in Afghanistan over 20 years Opium production in Afghanistan over 20 years
Afghanistan has surpassed a record high of opium production, according to the 2014 report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Infographics by TASS

The drug control service "persecuted organized criminal groups and intercepted large wholesale quantities of drugs," Ivanov noted. "The service fully dominates in identifying and arresting the assets of drug criminals. Out of 371 criminal cases on drugs in the country, 366 cases were launched by FDCS. Thus, by blocking almost all assets of Russian drug mafia, FDCS demonstrates significant potential for targeted strikes at organized crime," he added.

Last year, the drug control service solved 10,000 crimes linked to drug trafficking, Ivanov said. FDCS "tracked and destroyed ties between large international organized criminal groups and regional Russian criminal groups that distributed wholesale quantities of drugs, thus undermining technological schemes of distributive trafficking networks," he stressed.

Afghanistan remains the main producer and supplier of opiates. According to FDCS, around 93% of all opiates in the world is produced in Afghanistan. According to the drug control service, around 30 tons of heroin get to Russia annually.

Customs officers also prevent attempts of smuggling synthetic drugs from the Baltic States, Western and Eastern Europe. In February 2015, FDCS blocked a large channel of smuggling "spice" smoking mixtures from China to Russia.

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