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TEHRAN, October 26. /TASS/. Drug traffickers launder around $350 billion through banking systems annually, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) head Vitor Ivanov said on Monday at the VI session of the Central Asian Anti-Drug Quintetin in Tehran.
The session brings together heads of drug control services from Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. "The criminal fund annually launders through the banking system and pours into its criminal network infrastructure more than $350 billion taking into account production of cocaine and other drugs," Ivanov said.
"From the financial point of view, drugs are like gold and foreign currency reserves for extremist quasi-state groups which they invest into destroying global and regional security," FDCS head noted. Among armed groups operating in Eurasia and controlling drug production and trafficking are the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group banned in Russia, Jundallah militant organization and Balochistan Liberation Army militant group. Ivanov described them as "drug-extremist movements".
He added that activities of these groups are aimed at weakening sovereign states. "They are the main organizers of terrorist attacks, piracy, arms trade and human trafficking," he noted. "The criminal hyper-activity of these structures in fact forms parallel authority and illegal economy, financial and military potential that exceeds capabilities of several sovereign countries," he stressed.