Key cocaine case involvee apparently has no past
No information whatsoever has been found on Andrei Kovalchuk, including the legality of his Russian passport.
Investigators do not seem to be able to find anything on Andrei Kovalchuk, who is considered the main person involved in the so-called “cocaine case” about large drug supplies from Argentina to Moscow. According to Rosbalt ’s sources, the suspect did not have citizenship of any country. He has never had a residence permit in Russia, never made transactions with real estate or vehicles. They do not know what school the man went to, what his job was, etc. He had no reason to get a Russian passport. The only thing that has been established so far is that Andrei Kovalchuk was born in 1968 in the town of Hertsa, Chernivtsi region of Ukraine.
German law enforcement agencies, who extradited Kovalchuk to Russia, are now confused. Previously, the suspect’s lawyers stated that their client was not subject to jurisdiction in Russia.
“The cargo was kept in a building belonging to Argentina; they wanted to transport it to Germany through Latvia. What do Russian law enforcement agencies have to do with that?” the source said, adding that they do not have the right to conduct the investigation in the first place, since it does not fall within their jurisdiction.
From the testimony of witnesses, it is known that Kovalchuk "presented himself as an employee of various ministries and departments of the Russian Federation for entering areas with special pass control and establishing rapport with persons of his interest." He went into the embassy, as well as to the Russian embassy in other countries, easily communicated with senior officials, etc. Former assistant supply manager of the Russian embassy in Argentina Ali Abyanov claims that he knew Kovalchuk as a person who held the post of security officer of the Russian embassy in Berlin, but in reality was an important person in the Foreign Ministry.
To recap, according to the investigation, in 2016, Andrey Kovalchuk has developed a scheme for smuggling cocaine. It implied the storage of cocaine "in the premises of the Russian diplomatic mission", the delivery of drugs to Russia "using specialized flights," the movement of cocaine within the Russian Federation and "to European countries for illicit sale."
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, Kovalchuk personally met in Latin American countries with suppliers of cocaine, agreed on purchase of large consignments, which were delivered to Argentina.
Kovalchuk, who was extradited to Russia, refuses to testify, referring to Art. 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Before his arrest, he stated that the suitcases should have contained coffee, cigars and spirits bought by him in Buenos Aires. With the permission of the supply manager Ali Abyanov, he left the goods in suitcases in the storeroom under the stairs of the school at the embassy. The fact that the suitcases contained cocaine, according to Kovalchuk, was completely unexpected for him. He believed that the goods were replaced directly in the embassy for the purpose of provocation.