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More than 55 kg (121 lbs) of drugs, including
More than 55 kg (121 lbs) of drugs, including 6 kg (13 lbs) of heroin, were confiscated this week during a special police operation in the Orenburg Region in the southern Urals, a police official said Friday.

"An operation, code named 'Channel,' was conducted this week in the Orenburg Region to detect and eliminate channels of drugs traffic," a spokesman for the Federal Drug Control Service said.

He added that 642 criminal cases had been launched as a result of the operation.

Russia's Urals is a major point on the heroin smuggling route from Afghanistan through the former Soviet Central Asian republics and on to Western Europe via Moscow and St. Petersburg. Alternatively, the drugs are smuggled into Turkey and then onto Europe via the Balkans.


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