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Major drug-smuggling route from China smashed in Russia’s Siberia

September 23, 2015, 16:16 UTC+3 CHITA
This was chanelling psychoactive substances smuggled from Manchuria to Moscow through a border crossing point in the Baikal region
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© TASS/Valeriy Matytsin

CHITA, September 23. /TASS/. Russian drug squad officers have cut off a major narcotics route from China to Russia. This was chanelling psychoactive substances smuggled from Manchuria to Moscow through a border crossing point in the Baikal region, an official from the region’s Chita customs service said on Wednesday.

Fifteen packages of white powder weighing a total of 14.8 kilograms were found in the luggage of a Russian national, spokeswoman Marina Boiko said. To trap other members of the group, drug control police allowed the cargo to arrive in Moscow where a resident of Siberian city Novosibirsk was detained receiving the consignment.

In other seizures, Siberian Amur region police working with Chinese counterparts confiscated synthetic drugs worth almost $3.5 million in May. Sixty-five kilogrammes of concentrated psychotropic substances have also been seized, cutting off a transit route to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine from South-east Asia.

Federal Drug Control sources say 491 wholesale batches of drugs representing 64 million doses were seized in Russia in September alone.

Drugs have been confiscated in all federal districts. In May, Russia’s new entity, Crimea, was also the scene of an operation to bust a major gang supplying substances in the region over the past decade.

Last year, officers launched one of the biggest anti-drug operations mounted in European Union countries, organised jointly with interior ministries of Moldova, Belarus and France. A drug transit route crossing Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia was intercepted and more than 340 kilogrammes of narcotics were seized.

Service head Viktor Ivanov said last year that drug squads in Russian regions had seized more than two tonnes of synthetic material arriving from the Netherlands, Germany, the Baltic states, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, China and Afghanistan.

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