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Almost 200 Afghan drug cartels traffic heroin to Russia

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - About 180 Afghan drug cartels are trafficking heroin to Russia, as drug production has increased more than 40 times since 2001, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service said on Wednesday.

"The majority of these 180 drug cartels are based in the U.S. and NATO areas of responsibility," Viktor Ivanov said.

He said Russia had seized almost twice as much Afghan-made heroin and hashish since the start of 2009 as during the same period last year.

"The 1,500 packages seized since the start of the year translate into some 300 million doses - that is to say, two doses per Russian citizen, including babies," he said.

The service director said multinational drug cartels had turned Afghanistan into a drug farm that had a monopoly on global supplies of heroin, producing 94% of opiates in the world.

Russia annually loses up to 30,000 young lives to Afghan heroin.

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