Moscow police have dismantled a drug trafficking ring, arresting a dozen heroin dealers in the last two weeks, Interfax news agency reported Monday.
A spokesperson for the Federal Drug Control Service told Interfax Monday that 12 Tajik citizens had been detained after having allegedly been found to be in possession of 25 kilograms of Afghan heroin worth some 25 million rubles ($483,000).
Russian authorities have recently harshened migration regulations for the citizens of a number of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a move they claim could curb drug trafficking and contraband.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last June approved amendments to migration laws requiring Tajik nationals — who had been able to enter Russia using their national identity cards since 2005 — to enter and leave the country using an international passport.
Viktor Ivanov, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said in 2013 that the adoption of an international passport requirement for nationals of CIS countries could cause a "thirtyfold" increase in the effectiveness of Russia's efforts to prevent Afghan narcotics from trickling into the country, TASS news agency reported at the time.