04:43 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Moscow: Reports of Drugs Shipment From Argentina Via Diplomatic Mail 'Not True'

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Saturday denied media reports about the alleged use of diplomatic mail for the shipment of cocaine from Argentina to Moscow.

    On Thursday, Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said that security forces of Russia and Argentina had thwarted the shipment of 389 kilograms (857 pounds) of cocaine to Moscow. Several people were detained, including an Argentinean police officer and a Russian national. According to media reports, drugs were illegally transported via the diplomatic mail.

    "A support staff member [detained by the Argentine police as part of the criminal group] had neither a diplomatic passport nor the access to the management of diplomatic mail. An information spread in the media… is not true," Zakharova said in a statement, published on the Foreign Ministry's Facebook account.

    Bullrich said that the Russian Embassy in Argentina notified the Argentinean security forces in late 2016 that it had found a few bags of cocaine in one of its premises. In a special operation launched by the two states' security forces, the drugs were replaced with flour, and the bags were equipped with GPS trackers.

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    The minister noted that the price for the confiscated drugs could reach 50 million euros ($61.6 million) on the black market.

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    cocaine, Maria Zakharova, Russia, Argentina
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