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Ukraine Seizes More Than 700 Kg Of Heroin In Separate Raids

The authorities in Ukraine say they have seized heroin worth about $60 million in raids in the country's center and west.

National Police chief Serhiy Knyazev on March 31 announced on Facebook two raids in the Kyiv region yielding "600 kilograms of heroin worth $50 million," adding: "I have never seen so much heroin seized by the Ukrainian police."

Knyazev wrote that more than 100 kilograms of the powder had been found overnight "in a professionally-equipped cubby hole in a premium-class car" outside Kyiv.

He added that four people had been detained: a citizen of Moldova, Turkey, and two from Macedonia.

In a separate investigation, the prosecutor’s office in the western Transcarpathia region said on March 30 that officers of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) had found 130 kilograms of heroin worth $10 million in a village house.

Ukraine is “a transit country for trafficking heroin from Afghanistan to Western and Central Europe, mainly via the Northern Black Sea route and from Russia,” according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

A country overview on the agency's website says that “some activities relating to stocking and transhipment of heroin have been noted on the territory of Ukraine in recent years.”

EMCDDA also says that cocaine originating in Latin America enters Ukraine through Poland, Russia, or countries in the Middle East and West Africa.

On March 21, the SBU announced that it had seized more than a quarter of a ton of cocaine worth some $51 million on a South American cargo ship that had docked in the Black Sea port of Odesa.

With reporting by AFP
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