Drug-related crime rate goes up

Russia has seen an increase in illegal drug trade and crimes committed in the economic sphere in 2000, Interior Ministry reported today. Last Friday President Putin said that fighting these types of crime is a priority, the ministry reports. All told, 243.6 thousand drug-related crimes were registered last year, with 23.7 percent of them connected with drug dealing. In the economic sphere, 376.4 thousand crimes were committed, with 55.5 thousand of them in the credit and financial sphere. The damages suffered from the crimes of that type totalled 14.3 billion roubles. According to Russia's Interior Ministry, organized criminal rings committed 36,000 crimes in 2000, which is more than in the previous year by 3,000. The number of acts of terrorism grew too, with 20 ones committed in 1999 and 135 ones (14 ones resolved) last year, RIA Novosti announces. Criminal assaults were somewhat down last year, the Interior Ministry said, with 523,000 committed in 1999 and 513,000 ones (466,000 ones resolved) in 2000.