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Russia, Colombia consider drug operations

Russia has offered Colombia to hold joint operations against cocaine contraband, a source at the Federal Drug Control Service told Itar-Tass.

world Updated: Oct 11, 2008 18:03 IST

Russia has offered Colombia to hold joint operations against cocaine contraband, a source at the Federal Drug Control Service told Itar-Tass.

Service Director Viktor Ivanov and Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos Calderon "discussed the possibility of joint suppression of cocaine contraband to Europe and Russia and the participation of Colombian law enforcers in the international anti-drug operation Canal," the source said.

Transnational crime groups continue to distribute drugs in Russia, primarily heroin and opiates from Afghanistan, Ivanov said. The shipments of Latin American cocaine to Russia have also enlarged. Thus, Russia and Colombia must intensify the exchange of information about smugglers of cocaine and other narcotic drugs and hold joint operations, he said.

According to international experts, over 60 tonnes of cocaine, more than 100 tonnes of marijuana, almost two million pills of synthetic drugs and about 350 kilograms of heroin were seized in Colombia last year.

"According to some sources, Colombia annually produces 750-800 tonnes of cocaine. The growth results from the stable demand for cocaine, primarily in the United States. The cost of cocaine in the US grew from USD 95 to USD 136 per gram in the first nine months of last year," the source said.

Transnational drug crime and profits are a source of international terrorism, the interlocutors said.

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