the Argentine “cocaine case” can rightfully be considered one of the most action-Packed in modern criminal history. Whether a joke — a drug used our Embassy! And the scandal involved officials of the diplomatic mission.
the Main defendant in these cases, a businessman from Hamburg Andrey Kovalchuk decided to “confess” to our newspaper.
He’s behind bars, but this circumstance did not prevent his desire to vent. We publish his version of events, passed through lawyers and ex-inmates. This is unlikely to change his fate — after all, says the famous actor, freedom is not cocaine, on the track is not divided. But at least shed light on who is behind the cocaine hoax.
HELP “MK”: “Coke thing” — the so-called media a joint operation of special services of Russia and Argentina, held in 2016-2018 for overlapping of channels of delivery of drugs in Europe.
it all Started with the discovery school at the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires 12 suitcases of cocaine weighing about 400 kg in the amount of 50 million euros. The drug contained in them should have been burned in the crematorium. Instead, the Argentine police had been put in the bags of flour to make operational combination to catch the dealers. Suitcases equipped with GPS trackers and delivered the goods to Moscow. Was organized wiretapping the alleged organizer of the contraband and identified the suspects.
In the case of six accused. Four are in a Moscow prison is a businessman Andrei Kovalchuk, a former caretaker of the Embassy Abanov Ali, another businessman Vladimir Kalmykov and his nephew Istimer Khudzhamov.
Two sitting in an Argentine prison is a former police officer of Buenos Aires Ivan Bliznyuk his friend and ship’s mechanic Alexander Chica (both Argentines of Russian descent). They all proclaim their innocence, and the Russian defendants in the case (unprecedented!) even refused to review the materials. Chief among them I think Andrei Kovalchuk — “great hoaxer”, as he called the former Ambassador of Russia in Argentina Victor koronelli”.
“the Argentine case” is considering the solntsevsky court of Moscow. Well, that is, if considering — actually meeting postponed from November last year. Now, of course, the reason is justifiable — coronavirus. And here, for example, why February 14 2020 the accused was not taken to the court of the convoy:
For me no one came, — says Andrey Kovalchuk. Later in jail I came to the answer that it happened because in the detention center allegedly celebrated Valentine’s Day! Then came another response that the convoy was teaching. Then I sent a request already in the escort service, where I said nothing of the kind. Here’s a complicated story.
in the early PR��process Kovalchuk wrote a letter to the editor “MK” with a request that the journalist (yours truly) made his public defender: “Meet with the case — I have nothing to hide”. And then he was writing, convinced that I will be able to survive only thanks to the publication of its history, and bringing to criminal liability “on trumped-up criminal case on the basis of falsified evidence” Of several dozens of letters came three.
But before publishing the letter to Mr. X, offering a little to meet him. You can talk about it agreed that one person from his environment, and only on condition of anonymity.
— in General it is for many people is a mystery, says our source. — At the time Kovalchuk graduated from the Higher military aviation school. But the pilot somehow did not. Lived in Berlin (had a dual citizenship — Russia and Germany), was engaged in business. Have a family and two children.
Kovalchuk, who knew of the Ambassador of Russia in Argentina Victor koronelli, as well as almost all employees of the mission, but the official himself to the Embassy no relation had. He was told that once accompanied our Ambassador, and he got in his car to the then President of Argentina Cristina Kirchner. Kovalchuk, according to him, was also familiar with it.
like it or not, but judging by the context, comrade Kovalchuk sort of hints that the criminal prosecution could be initiated. Why? To discredit our mission and get Kovalchuk some dirt on employees of the Embassy?
— he constantly “rubbed” at the Embassy and talked with the Argentine elite on behalf of the German entrepreneurs, who took him with him as interpreter (Kovalchuk speaks several languages, including German. — Ed.) the source continues. — Once in Germany were clamped farmers, introducing various bans, the Argentine government told them something like: “And come to us. We have a lot of land, take all you want, work on health, and no you will not say a word”. The Germans came there.
Kovalchuk in the composition of these delegations came and their Affairs were doing. And the business they were in particular associated with the supply of coffee. In Argentina they were buying the coffee the grains that pass through the gut of capybaras. Such coffee can be purchased for 150-200 US dollars, with delivery in Russia and Europe bars and restaurants are willing to pay 400-700 dollars.
Kovalchuk used his connections in the Embassy. For example, if the employee’s contract ends (this situation was with Ali Habarovym), he was able to bring in free with 8 suitcases. Here is their stuffed coffee. Naturally, all this did not happen continuously, but only from case to case.
It was thus said abused��IR, appeared at the Embassy suitcases Kovalchuk before leaving caretaker to Russia. Kovalchuk, as I understand it, suggested Ablanovo earn. Two bags of coffee and elite alcohol have put to school under the stairs. Ali returned to Moscow, but for some reason the bags not picked up, called and told Kovalchuk. He decided that he would take them later on, on occasion. But suddenly the suitcase was gone.
How plausible version of coffee? Kovalchuk thinks she’s the one. Let’s give the word to him. Here are excerpts from the letter of the prisoner to the office.
“December 8, 2016 at the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires 1-m assistant to the Ambassador Oleg Vorobyov and head of household of the Embassy of the Russian Federation Igor horn was “accidentally” discovered under the main staircase in an open room sharing 12 suitcases. Them since July of 2016 was as assures a consequence, 400 kg of cocaine (meanwhile, according to Kovalchuk, his own things were left at the Embassy early in 2015. — Approx. ed.).
14 December 2016 the national gendarmerie of Argentina withdrew “found” the drugs and brought on this fact criminal case. In July 2018, the criminal case was completed, the perpetrators of the crime were established by the court of justice of Argentina (a former police officer of Buenos Aires Ivan Bliznyuk and his companion. — Approx. ed.) and drugs found by the decision of the court of the city of Buenos Aires destroyed (burned).
during this process in Argentina, neither I nor the defendants, the Russian investigative authorities at the moment along with me Kalmykov V. A. Abanov and Khudzhamov I. there hasn’t been as accused, no suspects, no witnesses and, accordingly, questioned the Argentine law enforcement agencies were not. Also no examination of the Argentine side or the Russian on the found suitcases or my fingerprints and traces of DNA, no other accused have not been found”.
From this story it turns out that the case was solved, but then some forces began to search for new culprits.
“a year after findings, 13 November 2017, the investigators of SD of MIA of Russia opened a criminal case in December of 2017 decided to interrogate “found drugs” in November of 2016 Vorob’ev and Rogov. The rest of the Embassy staff and the school interview is not considered necessary (all my motions with a request to interview them was ignored).
In the same December 2017 urgently “appointed” guilty — me and three. And issued the warrant of arrest (without initiating either against me or against other defendants in the criminal case). Specifically, a criminal case against me was filed only in April 2019.
March 1, 2018, I was arrested at Russia’s request in Berlin, where I lived always with the family. July 27, 2018 I was extradited to Moscow… In Moscow I was placed p��d watch, forbidden to even notify my family or any of relatives.”
Kovalchuk believes that the Russian side introduced the German in confusion, indicating that he is a citizen of Russia, a criminal case. Although he was deprived of citizenship of the Russian Federation in April 2018 because of allegedly incorrect documents.
But it is not all words Kovalchuk joined: it arrested him before deprived of citizenship, so that accusations of the Russian side are groundless.
all that with Kovalchuk, it seems fantastic. There is a category of prisoners with whom in jail from time to time there are oddities. So the number of these oddities Kovalchuk surpassed all.
And it’s not even that it four times in a short period of time changed the isolators (SIZO 99/1 “Kremlin Central” prison No. 5 Vodnik — SIZO 3 “Presnya” — again Vodnik). In the detention center, according to Kovalchuk, he was poisoned, electrocuted, broke a hand, and extorted money from him, hid, etc. In their arguments on appeal of the decision solntsevsky regional court of 29 November 2019 about leaving without change of the previously assigned him the measure of restraint in form of detention, Kovalchuk pointed out that “he is subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment”.
That’s what he was talking about in their complaints in November 2018 in the remand prison 99/1 “accidentally” he allegedly twisted the left shoulder joint. Did x-rays and medical assistance provided, but only after 4 months… In December 2018 “accidentally” allegedly hit by an electric current, about two inmates and the duty assistant to the chief of the detention facility was written the relevant reports to the head of the detention center 99/1.
Partially all of these stories confirm the inmates. August 17, 2019 without any prior warning and explanation of the reasons Kovalchuk was moved to prison No. 5.
“I Want to share with You my good news — he wrote from there in edition “MK”. After my transfer to me finally, after 13 months, began to miss letters from his wife and even missed the photo of his son, who is two and a half years! Though to see family and relatives and hear their voices I still banned by the investigator.”
But what happened to him in jail No. 3, which he was transferred from prison No. 5. The lawyer did not even find it.
Suddenly a call from the camera — says the defender Ramzan Adaev. — Kovalchuk on the wire. Who gave him the cell — is not clear. But he told me that everything is in order, and the strange voice. Money requests. I ran to the jail, it turns out, he sits in a cell with criminals who are threatening and require 100 thousand rubles. Threaten to kill.
the Head of the detention center with gave me an earful all subordinates, promised to immediately transfer to a special unit. But is this�� Kovalchuk sent back to SIZO No. 5. After the transfer of the case to the court of adventures seems to be stopped.
the closer to the final sentence – more of the weirdness. On the official portal of the Moscow courts in this case have information filed in the beginning of October 2019 three motions for the sentence without trial in connection with the agreement with the prosecution.
But who agreed with the prosecution? The odd thing is that the court March 11, 2020, all of the defendants as one proclaimed his innocence in the alleged crimes. So, the accused Ali Abanov claims of innocence it to the trafficking and storage of drugs with a sales objective and that “currently there is no important evidence in the case – a drug, which destroyed”.
Judge Kovalchuk and other accused in the case of the defendants is a jury, as in September 2019 was the request for consideration of cases with participation of jurors. So far the list of candidates to the national judge was not. The next meeting, where they were supposed to provide it, took place on may 21. And that’s how it was:
– Yesterday got a call from Solntsevo court from the office of the judge Grishina, – says lawyer Badaev. I. announced that there will be no meeting because the accused prison can bring. But lawyers for the other defendants consulted and still decided to come. What do you think? The process took place! And the most outrageous, neither Kovalchuk nor the other defendants not only delivered (it is still possible to understand – quarantine), but not even brought to the video conferencing. We challenged the judge and the Prosecutor.
additionally, the attorneys believe that the case should be transferred to… the Argentine court! And here’s a quote: “As we all know, the alleged cocaine was destroyed, i.e. not disposed of by the decision of the court of the Russian Federation, and by the decision of the Argentine court, and the criminal investigation somehow was held by Investigative Department of the MIA of Russia, and not in Buenos Aires, Argentine Republic. From this it follows that a judicial investigation should be in the Argentine court, and not in Solntsevo district court of Moscow, unless of course Buenos Aires is not a subject of the Russian Federation”.
the Plot is confusing, to be sure. Of course, any defendant, especially on such a resonant criminal case, will convince one and all in their innocence. On the other hand, “adventure”, Mr. Kovalchuk, like, not directly connected with the criminal case. Then whom need to compress it?