Argentine suitcases were sent from Uruguay

The smuggling of drugs by military aircraft could take place in 2012.
As it became known to Kommersant, the FSB checks information that cocaine from Argentina was supplied to Russia in 2012. From the testimony of the former head of the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires, Ali Abyanov, it follows that he, at the request of the alleged organizer of supplies, Andrei Kovalchuk, several times sent his suitcases, packed as diplomatic mail, with the help of military transport aircraft through the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo to Moscow. For every suitcase, the manager, he said, received $ 1,000.

As follows from the testimony of Ali Abyanov, which he gave as a suspect to the investigator of the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he worked as a clerk at the Russian Embassy in Argentina since August 2011. Around mid-2012, he said, Andrei Kovalchuk telephoned his office phone with whom they soon met. Mr. Kovalchuk, introducing himself as a security official of the Russian embassy in Germany (categorically denied this at the embassy), asked him to take him to the airport in Buenos Aires. Approaching the hotel, where he lived Andrew Kovalchuk, his Hyundai Santa Fe, the superintendent plunged into him the things of his new acquaintance, among whom was "a very heavy suitcase, weighing 25-30 kilograms." Already when they arrived at the airport, Mr. Kovalchuk asked the store manager to send his suitcase later, "when the plane is ready." At the same time, Mr. Kovalchuk explained that inside there are expensive wine, coffee and gifts. "Inside, I did not look," Mr. Abyanov said during the interrogation, who believed that there were 20-25 bottles of wine in the suitcase, "because by weight it coincided". Bringing the luggage to the embassy, ​​he ordered him at the end of 2012 to send him a "cargo Russian plane" from Montevideo airport.

The story was repeated in 2014, when, according to Mr. Abyanov's testimony, he left two suitcases at the embassy's disposal at the request of Andrei Kovalchuk. As before, according to the sender, in the luggage were expensive wine, coffee and biscuits. "There is nothing criminal there," Mr. Kovalchuk reassured his acquaintance. However, at the same time he asked to wrap suitcases in special wrapping paper, tie them with string and put sealing wax seals. "This is usually the way a diplomatic bag is packed, which is not subject to inspection," Mr. Abyanov told the investigator, who again sent the goods through the capital of Uruguay to Russia. This time, he said, the suitcases were on board the military transport aircraft.

In a similar way, two more suitcases, received from Andrei Kovalchuk, were packed in 2015, which the manager kept for several months in the ambassadorial garage. Then, ten more suitcases were added to them, received, according to the suspect, from the same Mr. Kovalchuk. The latter also claimed that they contained coffee and semi-precious stone products. The entire cargo, at the request of Messrs. Kovalchuk and Abyanov, was packed by a member of the embassy with the surname Dronov as a diplomatic mail. All the suitcases were in the garage of the embassy, ​​and in the summer of 2016, shortly before the end of his business trip and returning to Russia, Mr. Abyanov moved them to the back room of the school. "I did not want them to interfere in the garage," the investigator explained.

Leaving, the manager told about his suitcases to his replacement Igor Rogov. With the latter, Mr. Kovalchuk was going to come to an agreement, but the vigilant manager, as follows from the materials of the criminal case, arranged a suitcase check, during which 362 kg of cocaine were found. Mr. Abyanov himself claims that he learned about the contents of his suitcases after his detention at the end of last year. "I thought I was smuggling wine, coffee and semiprecious stones," said Mr. Abyanov.

Mr. Abyanov's lawyer told Kommersant that he does not know about these testimonies of his client, since he did not participate in his first interrogation. At the same time, Kommersant sources in military transport aviation confirmed that in 2012-2015 flights to Latin America, including Uruguay, were actually carried out, "but they were isolated". The military is denied transportation of suitcases with drugs on the sides.

How the suspects arrested about smuggling almost 400 kg of cocaine

On February 26, the Moscow City Court found it lawful to arrest three defendants of one of the most scandalous cases of recent years - the smuggling of almost 400 kg of cocaine, organized by a former technical employee of the Russian Embassy in Argentina. 12 suitcases with drugs since 2016 were kept in the embassy school, until they were sent to Moscow under the control of the FSB. In Argentina itself, two accomplices of contraband were taken into custody, including those who served in the police. Another person, who escaped to the FRG, was put on the wanted list.