BUENOS AIRES – Police in Argentina have seized nearly 400 kg of cocaine from the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires, the South American country’s security minister announced Thursday.
Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said Thursday that 860 pounds (389 kilograms) of the drug were hidden inside diplomatic luggage.
Власти Аргентины обнаружили 12 чемоданов с кокаином на территории российского посольства в Буэнос-Айресе. Предполагается, что их планировалось переправить дипломатической почтой в Россию и Европу pic.twitter.com/I32UtusTz6
— РБК (@ru_rbc) February 22, 2018
A police officer and a Russian diplomatic official were arrested following the seizure of shipment, APA reports quoting korrespondent.net.
Authorities arrested the suspects Wednesday after conducting a joint, yearlong Argentine-Russian investigation after the Russian ambassador to the South American country reported that the luggage was found at an annex building of the embassy.
Patricia Bullrich told a press conference that the drugs discovered in an annex of the embassy had a street value of around $50 million.
“A gang of narco-criminals was trying to use the diplomatic courier service of the Russian Embassy” to ship the drugs to Europe, she said.
“The cocaine was replace by flour and monitoring devices were placed to monitor delivery” of the 16 bags of the drug, Bullrich said. She said the sting had resulted in the arrest of five suspects — two in Argentina and three in Russia.
The drug, of “very high purity,” was destined for Russia and probably also Germany, where the suspected mastermind lives. “We believe the German police will arrest this fugitive,” Bullrich said.
The cocaine likely originated in Colombia or Peru, according to investigators.