Russian drug control authorities arrest drug traffickers from former Soviet republic

Russian drug control authorities had arrested six suspected drug traffickers. The authorities said they had also seized almost 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of heroin, most of it packed in plastic bottles and buried under garlic in the trunk of a car.

The men, including three Russian nationals and three citizens of Tajikistan, were detained in two separate operations in June and late July, the Moscow department of the Federal Drug Control Service said in a statement.

The group was engaged in delivering sizable batches of drugs to Moscow at least once every month from an unnamed former Soviet republic, it said.

The first member of the group was arrested in June with more than 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of heroin, the statement said. His arrest led to the seizure in July of 57 kilograms (125 pounds) of heroin, which was found in the trunk of a car that was stopped and searched on the approach to Moscow.

The heroin had a street value of about US$1 million, the state-owned RIA-Novosti news agency said.

The Drug Control Service's press office declined to say where the drugs originated.

Much of the drugs that end up in Moscow come from Afghanistan after being smuggled through former Soviet republics on its borders, in most cases Tajikistan.