Afghan heroin flow to Russia has grown – drug control service head

Map of Afghanistan and Environs

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 11, 2013) The director of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), Viktor Ivanov, has confirmed an upsurge in smuggling Afghan heroin to Russia.

“We see a larger flow of Afghan drugs to Russian territory. (Drug hauls) intercepted by our services in the first half of the year increased 1.5-2 times as compared with the same period the year before,” Ivanov told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.

“It does not only mean that the service is working. It also means that drug pressure is growing,” he said.

The drug control service announced on Thursday that two hauls of Afghan heroin weighing more than 150 kilograms had been confiscated in the Moscow region.

The service is troubled by the growing flow of heroin from Afghanistan. It has estimated that up to 100,000 people die from drug-related causes in Russia every year.

Ivanov said in June 2012 that 8.5 million Russian citizens use drugs regularly or occasionally, and 18.5 million Russians tend to try drugs at least once in their lifetime.