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Drug police seize 7.5 kg of heroin in the Urals


YEKATERINBURG, January 23 (RIA Novosti) - Anti-narcotics officers have seized some 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs) of heroin in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, a spokesman for the regional drug police department said on Friday.

In the first of three major drug hauls on Thursday, more than 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of heroin were seized while searching a car of a 40-year-old Azerbaijani national, detained on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Later in the day, police found a bag with a total of 4.3 kg (9.5 lbs) of heroin in another car, driven by a unemployed 54-year-old Russian citizen born in Azerbaijan. In addition, 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) of the drug were later found in the man's garage.

Russia's Urals region is a major transit point for drugs smuggled from Afghanistan, the world's largest opium and heroin producer, via ex-Soviet Central Asian republics to Western Europe. A kilogram of heroin is worth approximately 1 million rubles ($30,500) on the black market in Yekaterinburg.

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