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Police break drug trafficking channel from Kyrgyzstan to Russia

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BISHKEK, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Russian law enforcement agencies broke a major international drug trafficking channel, Kyrgyzstan's drug control agency said Saturday.

Police say one of the largest drug trafficking routes in the region passes from Afghanistan, the world's biggest opium producer, through Kyrgyzstan and then on to Russia and western Europe.

The agency said a drug courier from Kyrgyzstan had been detained with four kilograms of opium in Russia's Urals Federal District as part of an international special operation.

Kyrgyzstan's law enforcement agencies recorded 1,129 drug-related crimes and seized some 1,405 kg of drugs in the first half of 2006, 10.6% and 9% more than in the same period of 2005, the agency said.

Kyrgyzstan's drug control chief Zhenish Zhakypov said July 20 that the Central Asian country could be becoming a transit-country for narcotics as up to five metric tons a year cross its borders.

He said that despite a recent crackdown on drug trafficking, the illegal flow of heroin through the former Soviet republic - which borders on China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - had shown no signs of abating because of the republic's porous borders.

"In effect, this country has turned into a drug transit state," he said.

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