16:36 GMT28 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced it had conducted a joint operation with the US Department of Justice  to prevent cocaine smuggling from South America to Europe; it had seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) of cocaine, mostly in the Moscow region.

    "Russia's FSB and the US Department of Justice's anti-drug unit conducted a multiphase international special operation to suppress illegal activities of a transnational criminal community specializing in smuggling cocaine from South America to the territory of the Russian Federation and other European countries," the FSB said in a press release.

    The first joint operation was conducted in Russia's St. Petersburg back in May: a drug dealer was detained and active members of the criminal gang were identified.

    "In the final phase of the operation, despite conspiracy measures and various 'tricks' by the drug dealers, a cache was found in the Moscow region in November 2020, where at least 295 kilos of the above-mentioned drug were detected," the FSB continued.

    At least 330 kilos of cocaine were seized in the joint operation. Criminal cases were opened against members of the criminal group, who are now detained, the FSB went on to say, also noting that income from illegal sales of cocaine could reach 1 billion rubles ($13.5 million).

    US Department of Justice, FSB, US, Russia
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