MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Germany has handed over to Russia suspected mastermind of smuggling cocaine from Argentina to Russia Andrei Kovalchuk, lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told TASS on Monday.
"Kovalchuk has been extradited from Germany to Russia. At the moment he is in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center, he has been charged with smuggling drugs," the lawyer said.
The lawyer gave no details on when Kovalchuk had arrived in Russia. His lawyers in Germany appealed against this decision saying they had not been notified about the extradition.
In late February, Russia’s Foreign Ministry reported that the law enforcement agencies from Russia and Argentina had conducted a joint sting operation to bust a delivery channel of a large batch of narcotics to the European market. The drugs (362 kg), found in a building of Russia’s Embassy in Buenos Aires, belonged to a member of the diplomatic mission, who had wrapped up his business trip.
Law enforcement officials from both countries detained citizens of Russia and Argentina on suspicion of being involved in drug trafficking. Three were detained in Russia (Vladimir Kalmykov, Ishtimir Khudzhamov and Ali Abyanov), two in Argentina and one in Germany (suspected mastermind Andrei Kovalchuk).