Tajikistan has become main route for smuggling drugs to Russia

Tajikistan has become the main route for smuggling drugs, mainly heroin, to Russia, said Andrei Fedorov, director of the political programs of the inter-state council for foreign and defence policy. The report compiled by the council "Drug-Addiction in Russia: A Threat to the Nation" was presented to the press. It is noted in the report that in Tajikistan the drug business has acquired a nationwide scale, having become practically the main source of means for the Islamic opposition. The drugs are smuggled into the republic from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Between 1993 and 2001 Russian frontier guards confiscated at the Tajik-Afghan border 10 tons of drugs, up to 20% of which was pure heroin. According to the estimate of the frontier-guards, this is only 10-12% of all the drugs smuggled across the border. Large-scale production of heroin is developing in Tajikistan. According to experts of the Council, in the next few years up to 60% of the heroin smuggled into the Russian Federation, will be produced in Tajikistan. In Russia, more than 50 clandestine laboratories producing primarily potent drugs were liquidated annually in the past three years. The report contains an approximate estimate of the drug-market turnover: 1.9 billion US dollars in 1999 and more than 2.1 billion dollars in 2000.

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