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Some 10 kg of heroin seized by Russian police in three raids


MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian police seized some 10 kilograms (22 lbs) of heroin in three separate raids across the country on Thursday, a police spokesman said.

In the western Urals region of Chelyabinsk, an unemployed Tajik national was arrested in possession of more than 6.7 kilograms of heroin. The drugs were discovered on his person and also in a garage, according to the spokesman.

In Perm, another city in the western Urals, the manager of a casino was arrested after police discovered more than 1.1 kilograms of heroin.

In the third incident, in the Volga region city of Samara, a local was arrested with some two kilograms of heroin and five kilograms of hashish.

"Over the last 24 hours, there have been 44 registered cases of exceptionally large drug seizures in 24 Russian regions," the spokesman said.

Depending on the area, the street value of heroin in Russia runs from $40-$100 per gram, according to drug police.

Most of the heroin and hashish coming into Russia is from Afghanistan and then trafficked through the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Most of the drugs are then sold in Russia's largest cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Over the first month and a half of 2009, narcotics police have confiscated 150% more heroin than for the same period in 2008. Last year, 3.5 tons of heroin were confiscated by police in Russia.

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