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ARGENTINA | 02-03-2018 10:19

Russian 'mastermind' in Argentina cocaine plot arrested in Germany

Prosecutors in Berlin said the 49-year-old Russian national was detained as part of an international investigation launched by Moscow.

German police said Friday they have arrested Andrei Kovalchuk, the alleged mastermind of a plot to smuggle cocaine to Russia from Moscow’s embassy in Argentina.

“Berlin forces have arrested Mr Kovalchuk. He is now under police custody,” said a police spokesman.

Prosecutors in Berlin said the 49-year-old Russian national was detained as part of an international investigation launched by Moscow.

“The allegation: founding of a criminal organisation with the aim of smuggling cocaine from Argentina to Russia,” said the prosecutors on Twitter.

Argentine police said last week they had seized nearly 400 kilos (880 pounds) of cocaine worth some US$62 million (50 million euros) hidden in suitcases in the Russian embassy school.

Russia’s foreign ministry has said that the sting operation culminating in December was the result of a joint effort by the countries' law enforcement agencies.

-AFP

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