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Police nab 14 members of drug cartel operating across Russia

More than 25 kg of banned substances have been seized

MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Police have uncovered a criminal group involved in manufacturing and selling drugs across Russia, seizing more than 25 kg of banned substances, Russian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Irina Volk told TASS on Tuesday.

The operation was carried out by officers of the Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Drugs Control jointly with their colleagues from the Nizhny Novgorod and Chelyabinsk Regions and a Grom special ops unit. "Fourteen members of a criminal group suspected of illegally manufacturing and selling drugs have been detained in several Russian regions," Volk said.

According to the spokeswoman, the criminal group consisted of various divisions and the roles of all members were clearly assigned. In particular, the group involved operators, couriers, storekeepers, an accountant and an HR manager.

"They produced drugs in laboratories set up in the Moscow Region. The operators received orders through messengers. The storekeepers put banned substances weighting between 1 and 3 kg in stashes located in the Moscow Region. The couriers brought the packages, delivering them to various Russian regions. The accountant divided the profits among the criminal group’s members," she said.

An operation to catch the gang started in Nizhny Novgorod, where one courier was detained, and then two more couriers were nabbed in the region with nearly 4 kg of drugs. Another 11 suspects were detained by police in the Chelyabinsk, Ryazan and Moscow Regions, and Moscow. "In total, more than 25 kg of banned substances have been seized by police. The court has ruled to place all suspects in custody," the spokeswoman said.

Several criminal cases have been launched into setting up a criminal group and participating in it, as well as illegally manufacturing, selling and distributing drugs.