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Police bust major drug ring operating in several Russian regions

February 27, 14:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Police officers have arrested more than two dozen dealers from a large drug network that were selling narcotics through an online shop and received payment in cryptocurrency

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Police officers have arrested more than two dozen dealers from a large drug network that were selling narcotics through an online shop and received payment in cryptocurrency, Russian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Irina Volk told TASS, adding that about 350 kg of synthetic drugs were confiscated.

"Members of the Main Directorate for Drugs Control at the Russian Interior Ministry together with colleagues from local drug control branches shut down the activity of the internet shop that has been selling bulk quantities of synthetic drugs," she said, adding that 27 members of the drug ring were arrested.

She noted that the masterminds behind the criminal group had a well-oiled operation, from production down to sale, and recruited members through social media.

"It had well-orchestrated logistics, which included deliveries of large batches of drugs stashed in vehicles. Customer payments were made with cryptocurrency. Following investigative operations in the Moscow, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk and Khabarovsk Regions, police unearthed and shut down four drug labs that had produced 20 to 100 kg of synthetic drugs per week," Volk noted.

The Interior Ministry spokeswoman said that active members of the organized gang were detained in the Moscow, Ivanovo, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk Regions. "Nineteen criminal cases were launched. More than 345 kg of synthetic narcotics substances, about 500 kg of various drug-making ingredients and 87 pieces of laboratory equipment were confiscated. Pre-trial detention was arranged for 23 out of 27 arrested perpetrators and [release on their own] recognizance with a pledge not to leave the jurisdiction and to behave for four more detained," Volk concluded.

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