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    ABOUT 600 KG OF DRUGS SEIZED IN CENTRAL RUSSIA OVER SECOND HALF OF 2003

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    MOSCOW, February 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- About 600 kilograms of narcotics were seized in Russia's Central Federal District over the period of July-December, 2003, Viktor Khvorostyan, chief of the main directorate of the State Committee for Combating Drug Trafficking (Gosnarkokontrol) for the Central Federal District, reported on Tuesday.

    Some 42 kg of heroin, over 100kg of poppy straw, and more than 420kg of marijuana and other narcotics, including synthetic narcotic drugs, were withdrawn from illegal trafficking, Khvorostyan pointed out.

    According to him, since the setting up of the State Committee for Combating Drug Trafficking on July 1, 2003, the anti-drug policemen have carried out over 2,800 checks in companies and organizations engaged in the production, storage and trade of narcotic substances. As a result of these checks more than 250 criminal cases have been opened for breaching the rules of the legal trading in narcotic substances, with 169 crimes exposed in this sphere.

    Heroin, cocaine and synthetic narcotic drugs are widely spread in the territory of Moscow and the Moscow Region. In other regions of the Central Federal District plant grown drugs: marijuana, hashish and opium, prevail.

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