MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – A total of 50 kilograms (110 lbs) of heroin were discovered on a train en route from the Tajik capital of Dushanbe to Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
The amount is equal to 500 000 average single doses, according to the Russian legislation.
The train, popular among migrant workers, drew fierce criticism from various top Russian officials for sanitary and border security reasons following a major inspection in mid-April. Some even suggested that Tajik trains should be barred from entering Russia.
“Today, once again, heroin was discovered in the Dushanbe-Moscow train, 50 kilograms in total,” the deputy premier said. “This is a very large batch… which proves that the criticism that we had voiced during an inspection of this train by the state commission of the Russian Federation is well-grounded and serious.”
Rogozin, also the head of the state border commission, said after the April 15 inspection that Tajik trains should “never be allowed into Russia,” because they pose a “serious” sanitary threat, a statement echoed by Russia’s chief sanitary official Gennady Onishchenko.
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At the same time, deputy head of the Russian Border Guard Service, Vladimir Mochalov, suggested a total entry ban for Tajik trains which he said were being “systematically used by drug traffickers to smuggle drugs.”
Rogozin said that an inter-departmental working group plans to put forward its proposals on future actions by the end of this month.
“Early next month, [these proposals] will be considered by the State Border Commission, so that the final decision could be made, an optimal decision to benefit the whole state and, more specifically, Russian citizens who have to withstand this heroin aggression,” he said.