MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained three crime ring members and seized 35 kilograms of cocaine. All three were charged with drug trafficking, sources in the law enforcement told TASS.
As a result of operational activities three persons involved in the trafficking of 34.7 kilograms of cocaine in the Moscow Region were detained and charged under Part 5 of Article 228.1 of the Criminal Code (illegal production, sale or transfer of large amounts of narcotic drugs). The maximum punishment under this article is life imprisonment, the source said.
Moscow resident Vage Arshakyan served as a drug mule. The batch of cocaine was found in his car alongside a GSM signal jamming equipment and two mobile phones. He hoped to receive 100,000 rubles (about $1,500) from Moscow resident Mikhail Degtyaryov, in whose car the operatives found six mobile phones, for the transportation of cocaine. The gadgets were examined. The instant messaging software contained correspondence with different recipients indicating the man’s complicity in drug trafficking, as follows from the materials of the case. Degtyarov testified against a third member of the group, Moscow resident Ruslan Rashidullin.
The seized cocaine’s value is estimated at 500,000 euros. According to the investigators Degtyaryov was to receive from Rashidullin a remuneration of 50,000 euros and to pass 450,000 euros to third persons.
At the moment of detention Rashidullin’s car was searched and 450,000 euros and 162,000 rubles (about $2,400) confiscated as material evidence, the law enforcers said.
A court in Moscow put the accused in custody for two months till August 7. The defense lawyers of the two arrested accomplices have told TASS their clients pled not guilty. The court was asked for a milder restrictive measure. The request was turned down. The defense has declared the intention to protest the arrest.