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4 Russian nationals arrested for peddling drugs in Goa

Four Russian nationals have been arrested for alleged possession of drugs in North Goa’s Mandrem village, police said Saturday.

One of the arrested persons has also confessed during interrogation that he has been involved in thefts at ATMs in the state, a senior official said.

Acting on a tip-off, a Pernem police team Friday raided the house of one Ilia Alexsandrovich Shtennikov (30), a Russian national, who was found cultivating cannabis in a rented apartment, said Superintendent of Police (North) Chandan Chaudhury.

Shtennikov told police during questioning that an apartment in Mandrem area, in Pernem taluka, was being used as a base for peddling drugs by a group of Russians, she said.

A raid on this house led to the arrest of Radik Vafin (35) and MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) and ganja (cannabis), worth Rs 2.09 lakh, was found, the official said.

Vafin has said during interrogation that he had used gas-cutters and explosive substances to break open ATMs in the state to steal cash, Chaudhury said.

Ecstasy tablets, MDMA and ganja worth Rs 2.38 lakh was found from another Russian national identified as Evgenii Zakharin (38), the SP said.

The fourth accused, Igor Markov (32), was found with drugs worth Rs 7 lakh.

All four have been charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and further probe was underway to find out more about the network the accused were operating, the SP informed.

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