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Russia, U.S. Collaboration Cracks Drug Network In Rare Show Of Cooperation

The headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (file photo)
The headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (file photo)

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has cut off an international drug-smuggling network through a collaboration with the United States, culminating in the seizure of about 1 billion rubles ($13.6 million) worth of cocaine.

The FSB said in a statement on its website on December 29 that the drug network stretched from South America to Russia, before the drugs were trafficked around Europe.

Video released by the FSB to Russian media showed plainclothes agents dragging suspects from cars as well as boxes of confiscated cash and drugs.

“As a result of a joint operation with foreign partners, at least 330 kilograms of cocaine were seized from illicit trafficking,” the FSB said of the rare example of coordination between Russian and American drug enforcement agencies.

The FSB said the sting operation started in May and that the investigation continues to root out further parts of the network.

Russia's bilateral relations with the United States are at post-Cold War lows, strained by issues ranging from the conflict in Syria to U.S. allegations that Moscow meddled in its 2016 presidential election.

However, the countries continue to cooperate on international security and other global issues.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP