BERLIN, March 2. /TASS/. Under the applicable agreements Russia is to hand over to Germany the required documents concerning the detained suspected mastermind of cocaine smuggling from Argentina to Russia and the European Union countries, Andrey Kovalchuk, within a 40-day deadline, the Berlin prosecutor’s office told TASS.
"I can confirm the detention of Russian citizen A.K, by the law enforcers," the official said adding that a Berlin court would order a restrictive measure for Kovalchuk later on Friday.
"He is suspected of creating a crime ring for smuggling cocaine to Russia," the official said. "Russia is now expected to present all related documents within 40 days. That’s standard procedure."
The Russian embassy in Germany has confirmed Kovalchuk’s detention. The suspect’s family has not contacted the embassy yet, but should they ask for help "all required consular assistance will be provided," the embassy said.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russian and Argentinian law enforcers had carried out a joint operation to upset an attempt to deliver a large batch of drugs to the European market. Russian and Argentinian suspects were detained. According to Russia’s federal security service FSB two persons were apprehended in Argentina and three in Russia. Andrey Kovalchuk was put on the international wanted list.
In Russia, the Investigative Committee has been probing into the drug smuggling case since November 15, 2017. On December 13 three suspects - Ali Abyanov, Vladimir Kalmykov and Ishtimir Khudzhamov - were detained. All faced formal charges. At the investigators’ request a court remanded them in custody. The preliminary investigation has been prolonged till April 15.