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Russian customs authorities have reported a rise in heroin trafficking to Russia
Russian customs authorities have reported a rise in heroin trafficking to Russia, which they view as part of a general increase in drug smuggling. "Heroin has been crowding out other drugs, and this trend is likely to continue," Viktor Mareev, deputy head of the Federal Customs Committee Drug Control Administration (DCA), told a news conference Wednesday. More than 730 kilograms of heroin were seized during the first nine months of 2005, he said. According to some sources, about 420 metric tons of heroin have been produced in Afghanistan this year. "One-third of this 'harvest' is aimed at Russia and Europe," Mareev said. Heroin prices vary between $30 and $35 per gram and are continuing to rise. "Drug traffic to Russia has expanded in almost all border areas," Mareev said, adding that the drugs were coming from the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia. "After Kazakhstan, the Ukrainian border is the second largest drug threat," Mareev said. "During the first nine months of this year, Russian customs agencies, independently and in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, thwarted 1,022 drug-smuggling attempts with a total haul of 4,525 kg," DCA Director Vladimir Yegorov said, adding that this was 50 kg more than the same period last year.
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