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  Monday, October 21, 2019
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Federal Security Service (FSB) and police officers have seized a batch
Federal Security Service (FSB) and police officers have seized a batch of heroin and hashish weighting some 25 kg (55 lbs) in the Sverdlovsk Region in the Urals, an FSB spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The drugs were found during the search of a car with two Tajik nationals, who said they were importing dried fruit from Tajikistan.

"Heroin and hashish weighting a total of 25 kg [55 lbs] were found in four cardboard boxes of dried fruit," the spokeswoman said.

An investigation is underway and the offenders face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Russia's Urals is a major point on the heroin-smuggling route from Afghanistan, the world's largest heroin producer, through the former Soviet Central Asian republics and on to Western Europe via Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Most of the heroin sold in Russia is smuggled into the country via Tajikistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan.

In the first month of 2009 police seized about 20 kg (44 lbs) of heron with a black market value of over 20 million rubles ($557,000) in the Sverdlovsk Region alone. A total of 14 Tajik nationals were detained on suspicion of drug trafficking, 10 criminal cases have been launched.


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