Published: Sat, February 24, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Argentina foils diplomatic luggage cocaine plot

Argentina foils diplomatic luggage cocaine plot

Three Argentine customs officials traveled to Russia to monitor the shipment, and two Russian men were arrested when they went to it pick up, she added.

An worldwide drug trafficking ring operating out of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires was dismantled and several arrests made, Argentine police announced on Thursday.

Over the course of the next year, investigators uncovered a network of six Argentine and Russian nationals involved in attempting to traffic what they still believed to be a valuable load of drugs into Russia. Bullrich said the guards entered the school at 2 a.m.

The Russian ambassador to Argentina, Viktor Koronelli, alerted the Argentinians to the suspicious cargo after staff discovered it on 13 December 2016. The police then switched the cocaine with flour, inserted a tracking device and waited until the bags were moved.

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A former Russian diplomatic official and an Argentine police officer were among those arrested in connection with a large cocaine seizure at the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires that prompted a year-long investigation into an global drug ring, officials said Thursday.

A suspect, who Bullrich only referred to as "K", was in charge of buying the drug, and introducing it to the embassy in Argentina.

Two days later in Moscow, Vladimir Kalmykov and Ishtimir Khudzamov were arrested by Argentine authorities as they attempted to collect the suitcases.

An global arrest warrant has also been issued for a man identified only as "Mr K", who is accused of supplying the drugs to the embassy. The cocaine, she said, was valued at more than $60 million.

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He used his contacts to help smuggle the drugs into the Russian diplomatic mission, say law enforcement sources.

"This has been one of the most complex and extravagant drug-dealing operations that Argentina has faced", Bullrich said.

Among those arrested in Buenos Aires was an Argentinian national of Russian origins who worked as a police officer in the city. The drugs never traveled to Russian Federation.

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