Gang tried to smuggle cocaine via Russian embassy

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Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said the cocaine found in the Buenos Aires embassy was worth 50 million euros ($62m; £45m) and was of very high purity. Bullrich said three Argentine customs officials travelled to Russian Federation to monitor the delivery, and that Ishtimir Khudzhmov and Vladimir Kalmykov, were arrested when they went to pick up the cargo. The police then switched the cocaine with flour, inserted a tracking device and waited until the bags were moved.

"A gang of narco-criminals was trying to use the diplomatic courier service of the Russian embassy to ship the drugs to Europe" she detailed.

The Russian ambassador to Argentina, Víktor Koronelli, and three members of Russia's Federal Security Service alerted.

The huge trafficking scam was busted after the Russian ambassador to Buenos Aires reported his suspicions about 16 pieces of luggage which turned out to be crammed full of 850 lbs of cocaine.

Ali Abyanov, who at the time was a Russian embassy official, is alleged to have been the drug ring's main diplomatic contact.

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Timur Khudzhamov and Vladimir Kalmykov, were arrested when they went to pick up the cargo - of flour. The cocaine was valued at more than $60 million.

He was thought to be based in the German city of Hamburg and is now subject to an worldwide arrest warrant, Argentina's security ministerPatricia Bullrich said at a press conference on Thursday.

Among those arrested in Buenos Aires was an Argentinian national of Russian origins who worked as a police officer in the city. "The drugs never travelled to Russian Federation".

Based on statements made by Argentine and Russian authorities, it is unclear whether the cocaine may have been destined for sale during the upcoming 2018 World Cup games in Russia or for distribution to other European countries including Germany.

Investigators believe cocaine is imported from Colombia or Peru.