MOSCOW, July 19 (RAPSI) – Criminal groups controlling the distribution of designer drugs in Moscow use polygraph tests when screening for potential employees, Moscow’s deputy chief drug cop Yuri Devyatkin told journalists Friday.

"Designer drugs, namely ‘spices’ are the bane of Moscow. They don’t just distribute them, it’s a whole industry, complete with its own corporate security and contractors. Mainly these enterprises are made up of Chechnya and Dagestan (volatile Russian provinces in the North Caucasus region) nationals. The profits are insane, they expand so fast they have to use polygraph screening for potential candidates.” Devyatkin says.

He added that in 2013 almost 250 people were detained for involvement with “spice” trafficking, but only 50 criminal cases were initiated. “Spices,” being synthetic designer drugs, can change their formula overnight, which makes the ones already listed in the controlled substances registry obsolete.

“Spice” is a broad term describing smoking mixtures treated with various synthetic drugs, such as JWH or MDPV.

Devyatkin said that fatal overdose cases in Moscow in 2013 have grown 40% compared to the 2012 statistics.