Police have seized nearly 400 kilos of cocaine from the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires and arrested several members of a drug trafficking gang, Argentina’ s security minister announced Thursday.
Patricia Bullrich told a press conference that the drugs discovered in an annex of the embassy had a street value of around 50 million euros ( about $62 million) .
“ A gang of narco – criminals was trying to use the diplomatic courier service of the Russian embassy” to ship the drugs to Europe, she said .
She told reporters that Russian and Argentine police had decided to mount a sting operation after the Russian ambassador informed them of the drugs find in December 2016.
“ The cocaine was replaced by flour and monitoring devices were placed to monitor delivery” of the 16 bags of the drug , Bullrich said . She said the sting had resulted in the arrest of five suspects — two in Argentina and three in Russia .
The drug , of “ very high purity, ” was destined for Russia and probably also Germany, where the suspected mastermind lives. “ We believe the German police will arrest this fugitive, ” Bullrich said .
The minister said Russian security service agents “ came to Argentina on three occasions to assist in the investigation” , which took more than a year .
One of the two people arrested in Argentina is a naturalized Russian who was a member of the police force in Buenos Aires, said Bullrich .
Investigators believe the cocaine likely originated in Colombia or Peru .