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MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. More than 3.5 million farmers in Afghanistan are growing opium poppies used for heroin production on loans received from black market bankers, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov said on Tuesday.
"Afghan farmers involved in poppy cultivation are getting loans on preferential schemes" unlike farmers growing wheat, Viktor Ivanov said after a session assembling the heads of drug control agencies of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries.
The shadow segment of the global banking system was interested in this crediting, he said. "Money from global narcotics trade is one way or another getting into the banking system and is refinanced into the production of opium poppies, against guarantees of drug mafia operating in Afghanistan," Ivanov added.
"This drug mafia is relying on defectors from the Afghan army and police, who are deserting the government forces on a large scale," he said.
Ivanov said this year the Shanghai Cooperation Organization may come up with the initiative to liquidate dug production in Afghanistan. "I propose to stand together on behalf of the SCO to support the initiative to liquidate drug production, the initiative of an alternative development of drug-producing countries and the strengthening of the traditional drug control regime," the head of the drug control agency said.