MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Russia has for the first time ever enforced a life sentence for the head of an international drug cartel complicit in the trafficking of almost 700 kg of heroin, Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Irina Volk told TASS on Wednesday.
"The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has left unchanged the verdict of the Moscow Region Court in the criminal case against ringleader of the international criminal community Sherali Tabarov, and also the leaders and active members of the criminal organization who were accused of heroin smuggling and sale on a large scale," the spokeswoman said.
"For the first time ever, a verdict stipulating life imprisonment for the ringleader of an international criminal community earlier convicted on the territory of the country for crimes in the illegal trade in drugs has come into force in Russia," she stressed.
By its ruling, the Moscow Region Court sentenced 14 leaders and members of the drug cartel to various prison terms ranging from six to 23 years and slapped the cartel’s ringleader with a life sentence.
The police investigated the Tabarov case for almost four years. The members of the criminal community created a channel of delivering particularly large heroin batches from Afghanistan to Tajikistan and further to Russia via other Central Asian countries. Drug dealers were selling drugs through a ramified network in various Russian regions.
"As a result of meticulous work, investigators and detectives exposed a complex scheme of the criminal community’s activity. The suspects were proven guilty of committing over 20 particularly serious crimes. More than 696 kg of heroin were seized from the illegal trade," the Interior Ministry spokeswoman said.