The heroin market in Russia is valued at $6 billion because of an influx of imports from Afghanistan’s booming drug production industry, head of the Federal Drug Control Service said on Friday.
Afghan imports also boosted the country’s hashish market to $1.5 billion, Viktor Ivanov said at his agency’s end-of-year review meeting in Moscow.
A further $1 billion was spent last year on synthetic narcotics, Ivanov said. The market for acetylated opium was valued at $200 million, cocaine at $80 million and desomorphine – known in Russia as “crocodile” and produced from codeine-based over-the-counter legal drugs – at $100 million.
Ivanov also reiterated his proposal made last week to criminalize illegal drug use, making it punishable with a jail term or mandatory treatment. The idea, which follows the example of China, Sweden and Myanmar, was criticized by some anti-drug activists who told RIA Novosti earlier that Russia doesn't have enough rehabilitation facilities and questioned the efficiency of mandatory treatment.