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Russian citizen’s detention in Argentina not related to ‘cocaine case’ — embassy

March 01, 8:10 UTC+3 BUENOS AIRES

Earlier Russia and Argentina conducted a joint sting operation to bust a delivery channel of a large batch of narcotics to Europe

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BUENOS AIRES, March 1. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in Argentina sees no link between the discovery of suitcases with cocaine on the premises of the Russian embassy and the detention of a Russian citizen in possession of drugs in a Buenos Aires airport, the embassy said in a statement.

"We believe that this detention has no relation to the ‘cocaine case.’ Apparently, the matter is about an ordinary drug courier," the embassy said.

The airport police notified the embassy about the detention "under a routine procedure."

"We received no official notification about the detention so far," the embassy said. "The detainee has requested no assistance, but employees of the embassy’s consular department will meet with him soon to render any required consular support."

Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said on Tuesday that a Russian national in possession of four kilograms of cocaine was detained at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Russian and Argentine law enforcement agencies had carried out a joint operation to prevent the smuggling of a large shipment of cocaine (389 kilos) to Europe. Russian and Argentine nationals were detained during the operation. The Foreign Ministry noted that the drug shipment found on the premises of the Russian embassy in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires belonged to the embassy’s technical staff member whose period of work at the diplomatic mission had ended by then.

According to the FSB press service, five suspects have been detained so far (three in Russia and two in Argentina), while another one - the alleged mastermind - has been put on the wanted list.

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