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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Sees Fall In Drugs Trade

Smugglers trafficked an estimated $1.2 billion in illegal drugs in Russia last year, officials said Thursday.

While still a significant sum, that was down from $1.5 billion in 1997. The 1998 figures were from the Interior Ministry and were carried by Interfax.

The amount of heroin brought into Russia increased 500 percent last year compared with 1997, Sergei Trofimyuk, who is in charge of combating customs violations for the State Customs Committee, said Thursday. He did not say how much heroin was brought in.

He warned that drug smuggling was threatening Russia's national security and further destabilizing the economy, Interfax said.

Law enforcement officials thwarted 1,719 attempts to smuggle drugs worth a total of $30.7 million last year, Trofimyuk said.