Russia’s FSB announces major cocaine bust
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced that it has broken up an international drug smuggling ring which was preparing a large shipment of cocaine to be trafficked to the EU.
The ring was using a warehouse in Moscow Region to repackage the drug, which originated from a Latin American country, the FSB revealed in a statement on Monday. Agents seized 699kg of cocaine during the operation. The agency estimated its value at over $30 million if sold in bulk, or more than $73.5 million in street terms.
Some of the cocaine was intended for the Russian market, but the majority was designated for the EU, the FSB reported. It announced the arrest of three foreign nationals, two of whom are citizens of Colombia and one from an unnamed EU nation. The suspects face up to 20 years in prison for drug crimes.
The FSB released footage of the arrests as well as its search of the warehouse. The video showed dozens of packages, presumably cocaine, wrapped in plastic and labeled in various ways. It also included legal products such as powdered chili pepper and isopropyl alcohol, apparently used in the smuggling operation.
Russian law enforcement has conducted a series of raids in recent years to prevent international drug traffickers from profiting on the EU black market, the statement said.
The FSB noted Russia’s opposition to attempts to legalize drug consumption in some nations, stating that this would destabilize international narcotics controls. The organization pledged to continue its efforts to mitigate the damage caused by addiction.