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Lukashenko urges different punishment for drug users and dealers

MINSK (BelTA) – Punishment for drug users and drug dealers for drug-related crimes should be strictly differentiated, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko said as he heard out a report by Interior Minister Igor Shunevich on 22 May, BelTA has learned.

The head of state asked the interior minister to update him on the crime rate in the county and the efforts to combat drug dealing.

“What kind of problems do we have there? Maybe, we have missed something or made mistakes while passing respective laws. Back then I insisted on toughening punishment for those who produce, supply and sell drugs. We need to strictly differentiate between drug users and drug dealers,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

According to Igor Shunevich, the crime rate in the country continues to fall. “We do not observe anything extraordinary. I believe the level of crime control we have achieved enables us to get a real picture of the situation and to provide an adequate response to challenges and threats associated with this social phenomenon,” the minister said.

According to the Interior Ministry, in January-April 2018, the crime rate in Belarus dropped by 7.3% compared with the same period last year, with 26,500 crimes reported. The country's law enforcement managed to prevent the increase in extremely grave and grave crimes. There was a drop in the number of murders and attempted murders, grievous bodily harm, rapes, extortions and thefts.

At the same time, the number of intentionally inflicted grievous bodily harm resulting in death, robberies, plunders, vehicle thefts and frauds has increased.