Russian Olympic Winner In Goa Drug Bust

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Russian Olympic Winner In Goa Drug Bust

| Updated: April 29, 2023 19:10

An international drug cartel in Goa has been busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which has also arrested two Russians — a 1980 Olympic silver medal-winning swimmer and a former policeman — along with an Indian, in addition to seizing different drugs, an official said on Saturday.

The NCB’s Goa unit carried out the operation over the past two weeks, he said.

“Based on a tip-off that a Russian drug cartel was actively operating in Arambol and its adjoining areas in Goa, a probe was launched. As per the intelligence inputs, a Russian woman named S Varganova was found involved in the supply of drugs to foreign nationals. During the investigation, we also received information that led to the identification of a local man named Akash,” the NCB official said.

“During further probe, it was learnt that Akash was part of a larger network and he was working on the directions of a Russian person, who acted as the kingpin of the cartel,” he said.

Akash was immediately placed under covert observation. 20 LSD blots were seized from a Russian national named Andre after extensive intelligence-based operations resulted in his capture. He admitted to growing hydroponic weed at his local residence during his on-the-spot questioning, according to the anti-drug agency.

After that, the official asserted that hydroponic weed plants were found in tree pots inside his residence.

He said that throughout the operation, various drugs, including 88 LSD blots, 8.8 grams of cocaine, 242.5 grams of charas, 1.440 kg of hydroponic weed, 16.49 grams of hash oil, and 410 grams of hash cake — were seized along with Rs 4.88 lakh in cash. 

He added that the NCB also found fake documents, identification cards, and equipment needed to grow hydroponic weed.

“The arrested Russian woman, S Varganova, is a 1980 Olympic silver medallist in swimming, while Andre is a former policeman from Russia. The latter has been operating a drug cartel in Goa since a long time. He had visited many cities to spread his network and had been managing the well spread network of street peddlers,” the NCB said.

The official stated that in addition to the Russian nationals, local resident Akash had also been detained, and that additional investigation was ongoing.

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