Moscow, July 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Growing online trade has encouraged drug traffickers to increasingly use mail services to deliver cocaine to their clients, a top Russian police official in charge of fighting drug trafficking has revealed.
“According to the latest information from Interpol, there is a trend towards a stable growth in cocaine deliveries using mail services,” said Sergei Tikhonenko, the police official.
The number of such cases has increased “hundred fold, if not thousand fold” over the past few years, and drug traffickers have benefitted from the fact that it is impossible to check each package or letter, he said.
In particular, dealers have been actively using international mailing services such as DHL, FedEX, TNT Express and UPS to deliver drugs to their customers.
“There are several centres of international mail exchange where correspondence is accumulated before being sent to its intended country,” he said.
He revealed that the Germans work very systematically not only with correspondence intended for their domestic market, but also with all mail that is transited through Germany
Drug dealers have also been increasingly making use of modern chemical technologies to increase the safety of cocaine deliveries, said Tikhonenko.
In one of the incidents, there was a case when drug dealers diluted a kilogram of cocaine with a bottle of whisky – “its weight changed, but the volume [of liquid] remained the same,” he added.
Some 2.5 million Russians are addicted to drugs, according to government statistics, and 90 percent of them use heroin, trafficked from Afghanistan via former Soviet central Asian republics.
Russians consume some 70 tonnes of Afghan heroin annually.
About 30,000-40,000 Russians die annually from drug-related instances, compared to some 200,000 such deaths worldwide, according to UN estimates.