(Of course they are going to deny everything......)The suspected leader of a group of smugglers who were busted trying to send 400kg of cocaine to Russia from Argentina was neither a diplomat nor an employee of any embassy, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.
“We have sifted through all archives, all of them. We talked to all HR managers, with heads of departments. We have dug out all papers. Kovalchuk has never worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or for the embassy,” Marina Zakharova said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio.
The comments came soon after several media outlets published reports claiming that Andrey Kovalchuk, the suspected organizer of cocaine-smuggling scheme, had allegedly worked for the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires.
On Friday, RIA Novosti quoted Andrey Kovalchuk’s wife as saying that her husband had been detained in Germany on charges of drug trafficking, and that the German authorities were deciding whether to hand the man over to Russia. “They said that they would not extradite him without solid evidence, but would consider this issue,” the woman said, adding that their family were now looking for a Russian-speaking lawyer specializing on extradition issues.
The criminal investigation is the result of a joint operation between the Russian and Argentinian special services, which was first revealed to the public in late February. According to reports, Russian embassy workers in Buenos Aires discovered 11 suitcases containing around 400kg of cocaine at a Russian school in the embassy’s complex in December 2016. The Russian ambassador to Argentina personally alerted the Argentinian security services, and a special operation was launched, targeting the suspected smugglers. The drugs in the suitcases were then covertly swapped for flour, and GPS trackers were placed inside.