The case exploded in 2016 due to a complaint from the Russian embassy in Argentina after the discovery of a drug shipment at that diplomatic headquarters. Now, five years later, a Moscow court jury found the four defendants guilty of belonging to a drug gang that operated clandestinely from one of the offices of the Moscow embassy in Buenos Aires.
The jury found guilty Andrei Kovalchuk, noted as the leader of the gang, already Victor Kalmikov, Ali Abidjanv e Ishtimir Judzhámov. The four were arrested when they tried to get almost 400 kilograms of cocaine through the Russian diplomatic delegation.
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How was the case of the “narcovalija” that splashed the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires
The case was uncovered during the operation known as “12 queens”Carried out by the Gendarmerie in 2018, two years after the discovery of cocaine in suitcases inside the Russian Embassy thanks to a complaint from the then ambassador of that country, Viktor Koronelli.
After months of intelligence tasks, members of the force they changed the drug for flour so that the narco route was completed. Upon arrival in Russia, the three Russians waiting for the shipment were arrested. Then the leader of the group was arrested in Germany.
The diplomat had alerted the National Security Ministry of the discovery. Had found 12 diplomatic bags with cocaine in the embassy school, in the Federal Capital. They were in total 389 kilos of cocaine distributed in 360 packages and valued at 50 million euros.
The suitcases had been carried in July 2016 by an economic administrator of the Embassy who left office that same year and since then they have remained in place.
How was the trial in which the Russian justice found the four accused guilty
This Monday, the jury of a Moscow court found the four accused guilty of belonging to the drug gang that operated from one of the offices of the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires.
According to the Russian agency InterfaxDespite the verdict, the jury found that the four defendants, who faced charges of attempted drug smuggling and attempted production, sale or transfer of narcotics in large quantities, deserved indulgence. That way they will be able to avoid the sentence of life imprisonment.
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The parties to the process will debate the consequences of the jury’s verdict on December 16. According to the official version, in December 2017 three Russian citizens were arrested during an international police operation while receiving a shipment of drugs, previously discovered at the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires and replaced by fake packages.
The fourth implicated, Kovalchuk, was arrested in Germany at the end of February 2018.
What the four defendants said during the trial
During the trial in Moscow, none of the four defendants admitted their guilt.
Kovalchuk’s defense insisted that it was a provocation by the Argentine police in cooperation with the US intelligence services, carried out in order to discredit the Russian diplomatic mission.