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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December, 2004, 23:17 GMT
Russia reports Afghan heroin rise
Afghan farmer in a poppy field
Afghanistan is the world's main heroin producer
The amount of Afghan heroin entering Russia nearly doubled in the first nine months of 2004, according to government figures released in Moscow.

Russian police intercepted 2.9 metric tons between January and October compared to 1.4 tons seized during the same period last year.

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said Russia, a country of about 142m people, now had some 4m drug addicts.

In the same period, 62 police officers were arrested on trafficking charges.

Afghan opium production accounts for most of the world's heroin supplies.

Alexander Fyodorov, acting chief of Russia's federal drug agency, said the Afghanistan was expected to produce about 420 tons of heroin this year.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently said the country's rampant drugs trade was a national disgrace.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a conference of anti-drug officials on Wednesday that drugs threatened to "destroy the political and military success achieved in [Afghanistan] during the last four years".

He suggested creating an "anti-drug belt" around the country and urged the United Nations to increase its anti-drug efforts within Afghanistan.


SEE ALSO:
Karzai warning over drugs trade
09 Dec 04 |  South Asia


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