Drugs from Russian embassy in Argentina eliminated, but questions still remain
Russia and Argentine used a crematorium in Buenos Aires to burn the almost 400 kilograms of cocaine found at the Russian embassy fourteen months ago.
In a solemn ceremony in the crematorium, the Russian ambassador and the minister of security of Argentina threw the cocaine bricks into the fire themselves, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
In 2016, ex Russian ambassador Viktor Koronelli alerted Argentine officials to a large cocaine cache found hidden in an embassy annex. After the tip-off, Argentine police got into the building in the dead of night and replaced the cocaine with flour. They also tagged the cases with GPS tracking devices.
A year later, the cocaine cargo arrived in Moscow, where three men were arrested when they came to collect it.
The alleged ringleader of the smuggling gang is Andrei Kovalchuk, a former embassy caretaker who was arrested in Germany and extradited to Russia in July 2018.
There seem to be some high-ranking officials featuring in this story as well. After having been kept in the embassy for many months, the cargo was eventually flown to Moscow on board a plane that was carrying the secretary of Russia’s security council Nikolai Patrushev after he’d paid an official visit to Argentina.
Interestingly, Victor Koronelli was removed as the ambassador soon after the drug scandal broke.