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Drug Control Service Head Says Users Commit 80% of Street Crime

Every fifth criminal case that went before Russian courts in 2012 was drug-related, and drug users account for up to 80 percent of all street crime in the country, head of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov said Tuesday.

Speaking at a seminar for heads of regional courts in Moscow, Ivanov said about 8.5 million people use drugs on a regular basis in Russia, Interfax reported.

"Every fifth criminal case heard in Russia's courts in 2012 was drug-related; in some regions the share of such criminal cases reached 40 percent," Ivanov said.

He noted that despite hundreds of thousands of drug trafficking charges initiated by law enforcement agencies every year, and over 100,000 convictions handed down by courts, the number of drug users remains high.

According to Ivanov, drug users are responsible for up to 80 percent of all street crime by creating demand for drugs and developing distribution infrastructure.

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