Germany: Russian suspect of Argentina cocaine bust currently in Berlin custody

The Russian who allegedly masterminded the Russian Embassy 389 kilograms (857,59 pounds) of cocaine smuggling from Argentina has been apprehended by the German police in Brandenburg and is currently in custody in the Landeskriminalamt [State Criminal Police Office] building in Berlin, Friday.

The 40-year-old Andrei Kovalchuk was arrested in Scharmutzelsee, south-east of Berlin on Thursday, in connection with a massive cocaine bust in Argentina last week.

According to the Russian authorities, he was arrested "due to the suspicion that he has founded an international criminal organisation with the goal to smuggle cocaine between Argentina and Russia," according to Martin Steltner, spokesperson for the Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office. Kovalchuk now awaits extradition procedures at a court in Berlin.

The case was revealed in Argentina last week, when Argentinian authorities announced they had seized 389 kilograms (857,59 pounds) of cocaine, and made several arrests, including a police officer and a Russian diplomatic official.

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