Russia: Weapons, drug trade migrate to various corners of Internet due to pandemic, official says

Andrei Novikov

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/: Terrorists have moved their trade in weapons, explosives, and drugs online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Head of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Anti-Terrorism Center (ATC) Andrei Novikov said in an interview with TASS.

He pointed out that at the early stages of the pandemic practically all CIS intelligence services noted a certain confusion of terrorist organizations regarding their financial support.

"In fact, the border closure and the isolation of entire regions and cities disrupted the logistics of drug dealing and trafficking in the international arms and explosives trade. Intelligence is closely looking into the diversification of project financing and material support of ITOs [international terrorist organizations — TASS] and have come to the conclusion that also the greatest possible switch to an online format is being observed," the head of the anti-terror center stated.

He added that now it is only possible to receive payments over the Internet, while the actual physical movement of drugs or weapons is limited.

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