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Police bust major drug supply network from Europe

November 02, 2017, 18:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

More than 100 kg of banned substances and precursors for drug production were confiscated

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. Police officers have busted a large drug supply line from European countries. More than 100 kg of banned substances and precursors for drug production were confiscated, Russian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Irina Volk told TASS.

"Officials from the Russian Interior Ministry’s Transport Directorate for the Ural Federal District and the Federal Customs Service departments have shut down the activity of an interregional gang suspected of extensively trafficking drugs and creating drug laboratories," she said, adding that more than 100 kg of substances, precursors and raw materials for drug production were choked off.

Lowdown on drug bust

The criminals appeared on police investigators’ radars when they were planning to set up new drug networks in the Ural and Volga Regions, including drugs delivered from European countries: cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, amphetamine, methamphetamine, marijuana and hashish. In addition, Chelyabinsk police were tipped off about a drug package from overseas. A set of investigative measures was put in place, during which one of the suspects was detained upon receiving a package from Germany.

The parcel contained several types of narcotic substances weighing more than 1 kg. Several more parcels from Belgium, the Netherlands and some other countries were found to have been sent to the suspect’s name. The man regularly visited Togliatti, Ufa, Chelyabinsk and Orenburg for trafficking large batches of drugs weighing up to 10 kg. So, 240 drug stashes were found at two Ufa city cemeteries, packed in various batches, from single doses to large quantities.

Unearthing drug labs and stashes

The investigators found that one of the main drug-dealing cells was located in the Rostov Region, where there are resources for narcotics production. A bootleg synthetic drug lab - with large-scale mephedrone production up and running - was uncovered in an industrial area following a series of special operations. "Twenty kilograms of produced narcotic substances and about 100 kg of various raw materials were found during the search," Volk reported. Police arrested two suspects involved in the production. 

Large-scale drug manufacturing facilities were operating in this laboratory. "Up to 70 kg of finished mephedrone was produced from 400 kg of precursors in one cycle," the Interior Ministry spokeswoman explained. Stashes with 25 kg of drugs were also uncovered in the Rostov Region’s woodland areas. These would be tucked inside children’s toys for mail deliveries.

Overall, eight bootleg drug deliveries from other countries to Russia were unearthed during operations in Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, Ufa and Rostov-on-Don, Volk said. Police officers identified foreign perpetrators of the deliveries.

In addition, police officers confiscated more than 10 kg of methamphetamine from two troves in St. Petersburg.

The Russian Interior Ministry launched 47 criminal cases based on the evidence and arrested three suspects. The Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Transport Directorate in cooperation with the Interpol National Central Bureau and the Russian Federal Customs Service controlled the operations.

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