Lawyers of defendants in ‘cocaine case' claim Russia has no right for investigation

Lawyers of defendants in ‘cocaine case' claim Russia has no right for investigation
Suitcases with dummies of drugs

Defense claims it was an initiative of Russian law enforcement to deliver suitcases with dummies of drugs to Moscow.

Russian law enforcers have no right to investigate the case of smuggling 400 kg of cocaine from Argentina to Moscow. This was stated by the lawyers of main defendant in the case Andrei Kovalchuk, Rosbalt reports citing its source.

Lawyers have found that the school building where the cargo with drugs was found, was leased for the education of diplomats' children and, unlike the premises of the embassy, does not belong to the territory of the Russian Federation.

In addition, lawyers refer to the case file, which states that the accused hired a private plane for transportation of the suitcases. The plane was supposed to fly from Argentina to Riga, and then to Germany. However, due to the fear of the operation’s failure the cargo was not handed out to the accused. And later, it was sent to Moscow on a special flight under the control of the special services.

"The cargo was stored in a building belonging to Argentina, it was supposed to be transferred to Germany via Latvia. What relation can Russian law enforcement bodies have to this?” the source says, adding that Russian law enforcement agencies do not have the right to conduct their investigation in this case, since it does not belong to their jurisdiction.

"The fact that during the operational experiment the suitcases were delivered to Moscow was an initiative of organizers of this experiment. The defendants wanted to transport the cargo to Riga, and then - to Germany ", - the interlocutor of the portal said.

According to the investigation, back in 2016 Andrei Kovalchuk developed a scheme to smuggle cocaine. It was supposed that cocaine was stored "in the premises belonging to the Russian diplomatic mission", then delivered to Russia "with specialized flights" and then distributed throughout the Russian Federation and "European countries" illegally.

As the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB stated, Kovalchuk personally met with suppliers of cocaine in the countries of Latin America to discuss purchase of large parcels that were later delivered to Argentina.

Extradited to Russia, Kovalchuk refuses to testify, referring to Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Before being arrested, he told that in his suitcases he had coffee, cigars, and alcohol that he bought in Buenos Aires. This goods, with the permission of Ali Abyanov's manager, he left in suitcases in a back room under the stairs of the school at the embassy. The fact that cocaine was revealed in the suitcases was completely unexpected for him, as he assured the investigation. He believes his items were substituted in the embassy building for the purpose of a provocation.



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