Cocaine Movements

February 26, 2018 Crime , OTHER

NCA photo



Ricardo Swire



Caribbean intelligence data mapped a secret two-way trafficking route from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, thru Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, onward to the capital Buenos Aires. Colombian and Mexican cartels are currently settled in South America’s Southern Cone, especially Argentina. In the 2015 World Drug Report Argentina was the most frequently mentioned cocaine transit country spanning a ten year period. Two years earlier the same report ranked Argentina third following Colombia and Brazil.


Argentina is second to Uruguay as country with the largest police-to-population ratio in Latin America. Globally, Colombian drug cartels export seventy percent of their cocaine supplies via the Pacific Ocean. Twenty percent travels across the Atlantic Ocean, ten percent warehoused in Venezuela and the Caribbean. Trends showed North America and Europe as cocaine’s major transit and destination locations. Germany’s central geographical European position qualifies it as the main trafficking crossroad.


A two year joint Argentine/Russian/German counter-narcotics operation recently dismantled a sophisticated cocaine smuggling network that operated between the three countries. Findings highlighted the complexity of traffickers’ multinational synchronicity. Since December 2016 Argentine Border Guards, assisted by Federal Police assigned to capital city Buenos Aires and Russia’s Interior Ministry representatives, coordinated a counter-narcotics operation. The surveillance effort climaxed with interception of sixteen suitcases full of cocaine worth US$61.5 million.


The three hundred and eighty-nine kilos of South American drugs were discovered on the Russian Embassy compound school annex in Argentina’s capital. Conspirators in Buenos Aires craftily tried to transport the cocaine shipment onboard a Russian diplomatic jet. However the drug shipment was secretly intercepted by the multi-national counter-narcotics enforcement team. Russian Federal Security Services (FSS) members replaced the cocaine with flour during the drug’s transit period in Russia’s Buenos Aires Embassy compound. Electronic tracking devices were hidden in the suitcases before the “drugs” 2017 departure to Russia.


As part of the law enforcement surveillance process Argentine Customs officers flew to Russia and visually observed the transfer. A Buenos Aires City Police officer and one local trafficker were subsequently arrested in Argentina’s capital for links to the cocaine. Up to time of writing the scheme’s mastermind aka “Mr K” remained a fugitive in Germany. He is officially named on an INTERPOL arrest warrant. Mr K’s cocaine shipment coordination and logistics were managed by two Russian-Argentine citizens. The rogue Buenos Aires City Police officer received his payola to organize unofficial Argentine customs clearance for Mr K’s drug traffic. Another conspirator, a former diplomatic employee, was detained by FSS officers at his Moscow apartment.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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