By Aishwarya Rai, International News Editor
On February 21, A former Russian diplomatic official and an Argentinian police officer were arrested due to the discovery of 389 killos (860 pounds) of cocaine found in luggage at the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires. The cocaine had been discovered in December 2016, which led to a year-long investigation.
According to the Guardian, authorities found the drugs street value in Russia to be approximately $61m. The investigation was initiated when the Russian ambassador to Argentina, Victor Koronelli, and three other members of the Russian federal security service spoke up about suspicions regarding the 16 pieces of diplomatic luggage. The luggage had been found at a school “annexed to the embassy,” according to the Guardian. Once the luggage was confirmed to be holding cocaine, authorities devised a plan to catch the criminals by swapping the drug for flour, and adding GPS trackers to the luggage. Patricia Bullrich, Argentinian security minister, called this “one of the most complex and extravagant drug dealing operations that Argentina has faces.”
Amongst the arrests, two people in Argentina and three in Russia have been taken into custody. However, Bullrich believes that the individual suspected for masterminding the whole operation is currently in Germany; she expects this person, referred to only as ‘K,’ to be arrested by the German police.
The luggage was apparently in transit for Russia and most probably Germany, according to Bullrich. She denies that that the cargo would have been shipped using diplomatic channels.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 27th print edition.
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