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Argentina Burns Cocaine Found At Russian Embassy


A police officer opens up a package of cocaine found in an annex building of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires in December 2016.

Nearly 400 kilograms of cocaine seized from the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires has been burned in the presence of Argentina's security minister, Patricia Bullrich, and Russian Ambassador Dmitry Feoktistov.

The Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires said the cocaine was burned on August 21 in a crematorium at La Chacarita cemetery in Buenos Aires.

In February, Bullrich said that 389 kilograms of cocaine was found in 16 pieces of luggage seized in December 2016, following a tip from the Russian ambassador and three Federal Security Service (FSB) officers.

The cocaine was replaced with flour and the luggage was flown in 2017 to Russia, where two men were arrested when they came to pick it up, Bullrich said.

The FSB said then that three suspects had been detained in Russia and two in Argentina as a result of what both countries said was a joint operation, adding that Andrei Kovalchuk, a former technical worker at the Russian Embassy in Argentina who then resided in Germany, was the alleged mastermind.

Kovalchuk's lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, said in late July that his client had been extradited from Germany and placed in a Moscow detention center.

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