MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. The Russian Interior Ministry has filed criminal charges against the mastermind and ringleader of a major drug trafficking organization for the first time, the ministry’s spokesperson Irina Volk informed TASS.
"The Russian Interior Ministry’s investigative bodies, for the first time, have opened a criminal case under Part 4 of Section 210 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("organizing a criminal gang") against an individual who set up and led a criminal syndicate while occupying the highest rank in the criminal hierarchy," she said. Volk added that the defendants include members of an international criminal gang, which organized a drug trafficking route from North Africa.
"Large batches of narcotics were transported through Europe and the Baltic states to CIS member-countries and were, in particular, sold throughout Russia," Volk emphasized. She noted that from August 2012 until now, law enforcement officers had seized more than 800 kilograms of hashish.
"During the preliminary investigation, officers from the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department and the Main Directorate for Drug Control, in cooperation with their counterparts in Moldova, Belarus and Spain arrested and convicted more than 40 members of the international drug trafficking syndicate as part of the Pyrenean Fracture special operation," the spokesperson stressed.
According to investigators, the ringleader of this criminal network is a 40-year-old citizen of Moldova who has been repeatedly charged with first-degree felonies against individuals, property, public security and public order outside Russia. The suspect specialized in international drug dealing and coordinated networks for transporting large-scale drug consignments. He was put on an international wanted list and detained in Moldova.