Police bust cocaine ring at Russian Embassy in Argentina

24 February, 2018, 09:18 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Demonstrators protest against labour reforms during a Truckers union march in Buenos Aires

Two people have so far been arrested in Argentina and three in Russian Federation.

Security Minister Bullrich said that the criminal network was headed by a Russian businessman identified only as "Mr. K".

The operation has led to arrests in Argentina and Russian Federation, officials say.

The investigation started in December 2016, when Russia's ambassador to Argentina reported to Argentinian authorities that they had suspicions about luggage found in an annex of the embassy.

Argentina's security ministry says it has foiled a plot to use the Russian embassy's diplomatic courier service to smuggle cocaine to Europe.

The Russian ambassador to Argentina, Viktor Koronelli, alerted the Argentinians to the suspicious cargo after staff discovered it on 13 December 2016.

She told reporters that Russian and Argentine police had made a decision to mount a sting operation after the Russian ambassador informed them of the drugs find in December 2016. Blizniouk is a Buens Aires police officer accused of facilitating the shipment to get through customs.


Ali Abyanov, a former Russian embassy official in Buenos Aires, was arrested in Moscow on Thursday. The cocaine, she said, was valued at more than $60 million.

"The drugs never traveled to Russian Federation - only the flour", Bullrich said.

The cocaine in 16 cases (pictured) was replaced by flour and devices were placed to monitor delivery' of the drug.

"The drugs never travelled to Russian Federation - only the flour", Bullrich said. The drugs never traveled to Russian Federation. Russian security agents have gone to Argentina three times to help the investigation, and it has taken more than a year.

Ivan Blizniouk, a Buenos Aires city police officer of Russian heritage, and his confidant Alexander Chikalo, who served as the embassy's accountant, are alleged to have been in charge of logistics, including getting the drugs through Argentine customs.

Investigators believe the cocaine likely originated in Colombia or Peru.

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