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  Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Police have demolished a clandestine drugs laboratory outside St. Petersburg
Police have demolished a clandestine drugs laboratory outside St. Petersburg, which was involved with the production of the hard narcotic substance known as methadone for customers in European Russia and in the three former Soviet republics in the Baltic region. Major General Nikolai Ovchinnikov, head of the Interior Ministry's Anti-Organized Crime Department, told RIA Novosti that the drugs laboratory had operated without a break for at least a year. According to him, several activists of the criminal cell that ran this production facility and distributed its output have been put under arrest. It took law-enforcement agencies quite a while to track down the clandestine laboratory outside St. Pete, Ovchinnikov said. Methadone traffickers detained across Russia at various points proved to have been supplied by precisely this lab. According to Ovchinnikov, the laboratory has been destroyed in a joint operation involving police and security forces. Almost 19 kilograms of methadone has been seized, worth an estimated 4.5 million dollars at retail black-market prices. This is the first time such a large amount of methadone has been seized in this country, the Interior Ministry official said. The second largest amount seized to date is 500 grams (in the year 2002). Methadone is a synthetic drug, similar to heroin, but with a stronger effect, he said.
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