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Russia, US uncover criminal network smuggling cocaine from South America to Russia, Europe

At least 330 kg were confiscated

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the Justice Department have conducted a special operation to uncover a criminal network that was engaged in trafficking cocaine from South America to Russia and Europe. The FSB told TASS Tuesday that 330 kilograms of cocaine possibly worth 1 billion rubles ($13.56 million) if sold had been seized.

"The Federal Security Service jointly with the Drug Enforcement Administration under the US Department of Justice conducted a multi-stage international special operation to stop illegal activities of a transnational criminal group specializing in trafficking cocaine from South America to Russia and other European states," the FSB reported.

According to the special service, at least 330 kg were confiscated, criminal cases were launched against the criminal network members, they were placed in custody. "The drug traffickers could have made 1 billion rubles by selling the seized drug," the FSB clarified.

The first stage of the joint operation was conducted in May this year when a drug mule was caught red-handed in St. Petersburg with 1 kilogram of cocaine. "Active members of the organized criminal network, citizens of several states, were determined in close contact with foreign partners, their roles in illegal operations with the drug prohibited in Russia were clarified," the security service stressed. In June 2020, members and one of the drug network organizers were detained when trying to sell a large batch of cocaine, 34 kilograms were seized.

In the last part of the operation, a stash with at least 295 kilograms of cocaine was found in the Moscow Region in November 2020.