55 kg of heroin seized in Moscow in 5 months

55 kg of heroin were seized in Moscow during the past five months, which is double the quantity seized in the same period of 2002. 4,400 people were put on trial for drug trafficking and related crimes, 40% of them being residents of cities other than Moscow. The majority of foreigners tried for drug-related crimes came from Tajikistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Georgia-such information was released during a briefing held at the Chief Interior Department of the city of Moscow.

In the majority of cases, said Andrei Kornilov, a top executive with the Drug Combating Department, drugs are smuggled to Moscow by ethnic groups. For instance, about 90% of heroin are being supplied by Tajiks who "closely cooperate with Afghan and Uzbek criminal gangs," he said.

In his opinion, the reason why the Russian capital is a vast drug-selling market is that it is conveniently situated from a geographical point of view and has some "well-to-do residents" in it. Only 20% of the drugs that are being smuggled into the city are seized by law enforcers, the police spokesman said.

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