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Russian police want U.S. data on Afghan drug trafficking

RIA Novosti

15:34 07/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's federal drug control service will provide the U.S. with data on Afghan drugs, and expects reciprocal steps from U.S. colleagues, the head of the service said on Wednesday.

Viktor Ivanov held working meetings in Washington on September 24 with David Johnson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and Paul Jones, U.S. Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan.

The sides agreed that both nations could benefit from increased exchanges of drug control practices and operational coordination.

"We will transfer to the Americans 175 brands of drugs made in Afghanistan. In exchange, we expect to receive from our U.S. partners data on 50 Afghan drug lords," Viktor Ivanov said.

Afghanistan currently accounts for 93% of global illegal opiate production, Ivanov said.

"Over the past eight years 44,200 metric tons of opiates have been produced in Afghanistan, to say nothing of the record volume of marijuana and hashish," he said.

Most of the heroin and hashish coming into Russia originates in Afghanistan, and is trafficked via former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. They are then sold in Russia's largest cities, or shipped on to Europe.

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