MOSCOW, March 19 - RAPSI. The Interior Ministry has allocated 50 million rubles ($1.6 million) for a project to develop information technology for its anti-narcotics units, Izvestia newspaper writes.

The information technology will be designed to provide access to the customs and drug control services' databases and also to monitor the Internet for related information, including image and voice tracking. It should also be able to predict potential drug trafficking routes.

The project was contracted by one of the ministry's leading research departments and was conceived to diversify the efforts against drug criminals.

According to the newspaper's source at the ministry, it will be a unique technology comparable to the US Drug Enforcement Agency's database. It will be able to access almost any information system, including the Internet and the classified databases of state agencies.

The system should be able to track down an organization, a person or a vehicle within minutes.

It should also be able to process voices, images and potential drug routes online and to produce relevant information in the form of tables and charts.

The Interior Ministry, the Federal Customs Service and security agencies were the key elements in the struggle against drug trafficking until the Federal Drug Control Service was established in 2003.