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Russian police chiefs are meeting in Moscow
Russian police chiefs are meeting in Moscow to coordinate their efforts in countering their drug trafficking prevention efforts. "At the meeting we will discuss all topical issues in this field, including tactical issues," Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov said prior to the meeting. The Information and Public Relations Department of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office said in a press release that two million Russians used drugs regularly. Many experts say some four million Russians have consumed drugs. Eight to ten thousand criminal offenses are committed annually under drug or substance intoxication. "Criminal sales of drugs amount to $10 billion to $18 billion a year," the press release reads. Almost a third of all seized drugs have been trafficked to Russia from abroad. The Russian Federal Drug Control Service has registered about 120,000 drug crimes, over 75,500 of them classified as major offenses, in the first nine months of 2004. Over 63,100 cases of sales of drugs were revealed; over 8,500 offenses were organized and committed by a criminal conspiracy. This year the police have seized more than 2,061 kilos of heroin; almost the same amount was seized in the two preceding years, the Federal Drug Control Service said. According to the Federal Drug Control Service, drugs criminals are most active in Moscow (almost 10,000 offenses), Krasnodar territory (over 5,300), Rostov region (over 4,000), and St. Petersburg (over 3,600). The Service's men have detained 971 foreigners for drug crimes in the first nine months of this year, 311 of them citizens of Tajikistan, 204 of Azerbaijan, and 180 of Ukraine. In addition, the press release reads, in the first half of the year 58 laundering cases of drugs money were investigated, while in 2002 and 2003 only one such offense was registered
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