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Russian Gypsy Diaspora Leader Caught With $750,000 in Heroin and Hashish

Russian authorities in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk have detained a 63-year-old leader of a local Gypsy diaspora who was caught with 40 million rubles' ($750,000) worth of heroin and hashish, according to a police statement Tuesday.

The suspect was in a car with a 45-year-old man from Tajikistan who was also detained, the statement said. Neither of their names has been disclosed.

Authorities have opened a criminal case against the men on a charge of trafficking an especially large quantity of narcotics, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of heroin and hashish, Russia's top anti-drug official, Viktor Ivanov, said last month. Much of that heroin is smuggled into Russia through Tajikistan and other countries in Central Asia.

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