Russian customs officers have seized a total of 2.5 metric tons of narcotic, mind-altering and other potent illegal substances in thwarted smuggling attempts since the beginning of the year, sources in the Russian State Customs Committee announced.
The committee officials recalled that Wednesday is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. On that occasion, the customs committee announced they had seized 69 kg of heroin this year, along with 1.4 kg of cocaine, 7.4 kg of opium, more than a ton of marijuana, over 70 kg of hashish, over 25 kg of poppy straw, plus upwards of a ton of mind-altering and other potent substances.
The committee officials added they feel drug trade is a global issue. Being a highly profitable criminal activity, it has become the centerpiece of international organized crime's business interests. Still more worrying is that drug dealers are increasingly involved with all sorts of extremist factions destabilizing the situation around the world, the sources added.
Law enforcement agencies' drug trafficking analysts have found that presence of international drug traders is increasing in Russia as the country is becoming a drug trafficking bridge between Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Furthermore, the committee officials deplored, Russia is itself consuming ever more narcotics.
Europe which is panic-stricken over the consequences of rising energy and food prices could strike a treacherous blow to Ukraine this winter, writes Simon Tisdall for The Guardian.