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Russia's narcotics service said Friday it expects a record harvest of opium in Afghanistan this year
Russia's narcotics service said Friday it expects a record harvest of opium in Afghanistan this year. Almost 100% of the heroin and opium on the Russian drug market is trafficked from Afghanistan. "This year, we expect a record harvest of raw opium [in Afghanistan] - 6,100 metric tons - which can be used to produce 610 tons of heroin," said Alexander Fyodorov, deputy head of the Federal Drug Control Service. He said the service is closely monitoring the situation and taking all necessary measures to counter the narcotics threat from Afghanistan. According to Fyodorov, 1,332 money-laundering cases related to the illicit drug trade were solved in Russia in 2006. "We have proved the laundering of more than 400 million rubles (about $15 mln) in profits from the narcotics trade," the official said, adding that 1,441 cases were also solved in 2005. Fyodorov said the majority of criminal groups make the drug trade their primary business because it is considered one of most profitable. United Nations experts estimate annual sales of the four most popular drugs - heroin, cocaine, marijuana and synthetic drugs - to total $320 billion on the global market. The official said Russia's narcotics service plans to open its offices in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, the United States and Austria.
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