Around 30 kilograms of heroin have been seized in an operation in Moscow Region, local drug police said on Tuesday.
Three suspected members of a drug-trafficking gang were arrested during an operation conducted last Friday in the Domodedovsky district of the Moscow Region.
The police only revealed the details of the operation on Tuesday, saying that the heroin had been packed ready for transport and hidden near a children's recreation camp. The suspects were arrested when whey attempted to move the drugs.
Police stopped a Gazel van inside which they found two plastic bags each containing 15 kilograms of heroin. They said two of those arrested were a drug-addicted couple, and the driver was known to have been involved in drug trafficking on several prior occasions.
The investigation is ongoing, with the gang's ringleader still to be identified.
The spokesman said that the heroin was worth 360-750 million rubes ($10-$25 million).
An estimated 90% of heroin consumed in Russia is trafficked from Afghanistan via the ex-Soviet states of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and most of the heroin sold in Europe passes through Russia on its way from Afghanistan.
The director of Russia's state antidrug committee said on Tuesday that illicit drug flows into Russia, mainly from Afghanistan, have almost doubled in the past year. Viktor Ivanov said this has led to a rise in violence in the North Caucasus.
MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti)