MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s anti-drug agency seized just over 2.6 metric tons of heroin last year, about 20 percent more than in 2012, the agency’s head said Tuesday.
Russia is a major destination for opiates from Afghanistan, where poppy plantations spanned a record 209,000 hectares last year, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov told journalists in Moscow.
The Russian anti-drug agency conducted 735 special operations last year, including 53 on an international scale, the chief said.
One such operation, conducted over the New Year’s holidays and aptly codenamed “Santa Claus,” took 80 kilograms of heroin off the streets, an amount that would have sufficed for 1.5 million single hits, Ivanov said.
He estimated the number of drug addicts in Russia at 8 million in mid-2013, although he said the figure had decreased by 500,000 year-on-year.