The number of crimes related to drug-trafficking has risen by 11 times over the last decade. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced at a press conference by Deputy Head of the Russian Investigation Department Yuri Alekseyev. He said that 94 tonnes of illegal drugs were seized in 2002 and 27 members of international drug-trafficking groups were convicted. Also 2 million square metres of illegally grown poppies and 25 million square metres of illegally grown hemp were destroyed in Russia last year and more than 12 thousand people were convicted for growing illegal substances.
Mr Alekseyev added that most of the drug-related crimes were committed in Moscow (15.8 thousand), St. Petersburg (9.6 thousand) and Krasnoyarsk (10.1 thousand).
At the beginning of 2003 there were 456 thousand drug addicts registered in Russia although research suggests that about 2.3 million people use drugs.