Drug police in Russia's Far East have joined hands with the Federal Space Agency in spotting cannabis fields in the Primorye Territory, a senior drugs control official said on Thursday.
Roscosmos has sent coordinates of cannabis fields to anti-narcotics officers, who destroy the plants and returning confirmed information to the space agency, which enters it in a database, Lieu. Gen. Alexander Rolik told a news conference in Vladivostok.
"We have been in contact with Roscosmos since late last year," Rolik said.
He said drug police destroyed 48 hectares of cannabis plants last year. Police also seized 4 metric tons of marijuana in September in two forest caches and a truck, and discovered an illegal hash oil plant in the woods.
Rolik said the discoveries point to a net of organized criminal groups trafficking in cannabis-based drugs in cities in Primorye and nearby regions.
Russia's Far East registers a higher rate of drug-related crimes than the national average, with drug abuse on the increase, Afghan-produced heroin flooding into the region and trade in narcotics flourishing.
The general said space satellites have also helped other regions, including the neighboring Amur region and the Urals, spot cannabis plants.
VLADIVOSTOK, January 21 (RIA Novosti)