Joint CSTO operation nets over 18 tons of drugs

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MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - Over 18 metric tons of drugs have been seized in a joint anti-drug operation by members of the CSTO regional security organization, the Russian Drug Control Service said on Wednesday.

The operation was held on November 17-24 on the territories of the CSTO member states - Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It was monitored by representatives of law enforcement bodies from Azerbaijan, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the United States and Ukraine.

Law enforcement officers from Colombia and Bolivia also took part in the operation.

Narcotics trafficking is an acute problem for central Asian countries due to the constant flow of illegal drugs from neighboring Afghanistan, the world's largest heroin and opium producer. The drugs are then smuggled via Russia's Urals region onto Western Europe.

Russian law enforcement and security services seized over 29 metric tons of drugs in January-September and prevented 198,000 crimes connected with the smuggling and trade of drugs.

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