Excuse the tea leaves

Excuse the tea leaves

In absentia accused the interior Ministry of Russia in the organization of smuggling cocaine from Argentina Andrey Kovalchuk says that he wanted to send home not 12 suitcases of drugs and coffee, cigars and household chemicals. However, they have paid for the Luggage that arrived in Moscow the transport plane, was already dummy packages of drugs. Stored the suitcases in the back of the school superintendent of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires Ali Abanov, who was arrested, claims he was framed by Mr. Kovalchuk, in the past also been a technical assistant of the diplomatic missions.


Version defender Andriy Kovalchuk, Vladimir Zherebenkov, he is shocked by the incident. Former ambassadorial techie, recently engaged in business, learning about the scandal with drugs, was going to come back from Germany, where he is now in Russia, but then changed his mind. “I’ll just close down,” said Mr. Kovalchuk. While in Germany, he is ready to give all the testimony in this case and present the documents confirming its innocence. Including all receipts for purchases.

Andrey Kovalchuk says that several times he was on official and private cases in Argentina, where the Russian Embassy assistant Manager worked with his friend Ali Abanov. In the summer of 2016 during the next visit, according to Mr. Kovalchuk, he acquired a large batch of coffee, cigars, household chemicals and so on., which stuffed in the suitcases and with the permission of Mr. Abanova left in the back of one of the three buildings belonging to the school at the Embassy. Version of in absentia accused of smuggling drugs, coffee together with him have acquired the diplomats and technical staff of the Embassy. They knew that the bags left at the school, where they had to pick up and send to Moscow. As the lawyer said Zherebenkov, on each of the suitcases in case of loss were conditions Mr. Kovalchuk and his mobile phone number. About any diplomatic pouch were not discussed, said the source “b”.

According to the lawyer, a large part of the contents of Luggage, such as DVD drives, intended for gifts, something Andrei Kovalchuk expected to sell. However, in late summer, the caretaker of the Embassy of the contract ended and he returned home. His replacement, one of the Horns, as they say in criminal case materials, decided to make an inventory of inherited economy. 25 November 2016 they had found the suitcases lying among the other stuff in the back. New assistant Manager called the staff of security service of Embassy, who, on opening one of the suitcases, found it packing with some powder. Assuming that this is a drug, the staff of the Embassy informed the foreign Ministry. Arrived 8 November in Buenos Aires, the FSB conducted a rapid analysis of the powder confirmed that the powder was cocaine. The finding reported to the personnel of the Argentine gendarmerie, which is 12 December, with the approval of the court replaced the cocaine, who were all 12 bags of flour. They have also installed GPS trackers to track the movement of goods. At the same time, the school strengthened security and installed video cameras.

According to Mr. Kovalchuk, the whole time he was trying to pick up your goods from school, but he, under various pretexts refused.

For example, under the pretext that the caretaker of the Horns flew to the vacation home. However, as it turned out, the delay was connected only with the fact that the intelligence agencies of Russia and Argentina have already launched an operation against alleged members of drug trafficking.

Finally, in November of last year, according to Mr. Kovalchuk, the Embassy staff told him he could send the bags to Russia. According to him, to show he rented, keeping relevant documents, seat on Board transport aircraft. When 12 December 2017, the cargo was delivered to Moscow, according to the report of employee of the economic security service FSB, who inspected the bags with the models, the investigator of the Investigative Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs opened a criminal case. The first was detained the alleged members of the drug trafficking Istimer Khudzhamov and Vladimir Kalmykov. Took them on the street Vasilisy kozhinoy, when they received brought the suitcases to the house No. 11, which lived Ali Abanov. He was arrested later.

The lawyer of the former caretaker Alexander Kostanyan explained to Kommersant that his client plead guilty to admit flatly refuses, calling himself the victim of a setup from Andrei Kovalchuk. That, incidentally, also believes that he was framed, for some reason, replacing the coffee in the bags of drugs.

The defender explained that Mr. Abenov returned to Moscow from Argentina in August 2016, “quietly lived here a year and a half” and no complaints from law enforcement to it arose. According to him, Ali Abanov is a native of Nizhny Novgorod, a trained engineer in the field of housing. In this capacity, he worked in diplomatic missions of Russia abroad, particularly in Cyprus. Moreover, as noted by Mr. Kostanyan always his work has received only positive characteristics. “All this is pure provocation, and Abanova framed his friend Andrei Kovalchuk,” — said the lawyer, Kostanyan.

According to its materials, the Lord of Abanov Kovalchuk, who met in Moscow in 2012, when the second one somehow was involved in some construction and engineering works at the German Embassy in Moscow. While supposedly Andrei Kovalchuk called themselves “bezopasnik” the diplomatic Department, obviously hinting at his involvement as the foreign Ministry and intelligence services. Later Ali Abanov went on a business trip to Argentina, and after a while was there with his family and Mr. Kovalchuk. “He’s been visiting Abanovich, came to him in confidence,” said Alexander, Kostanyan. And after that Mr. Kovalchuk allegedly asked his friend as “Russian Russians” time to put your Luggage in the school, especially that Ali Abanova wife, Barbara, worked at school at Embassy of the teacher of initial classes. “Abanow agreed: leave the suitcases for some time,” he explained.

In Moscow, Ali Abanov, according to his representative several times contacted the Ministry of foreign Affairs, discussing possible new trip abroad. But it ended up that on December 13 last year, when he returned home, in the yard he was approached by people in mufti, who introduced themselves as FSB operatives, and proposed to follow them for “identification”. Then Ali Abanov was in the detention center, he faced a formal charge, and with the approval of the Tver court he was in jail-4 “Vodnik”.

“In March in the Moscow city court will appeal against the extension of arrest, we will insist on his release from prison, at least on house arrest,” — said Alexander Kostanyan. According to him, the main issue now is to capture Andrei Kovalchuk and hold bilateral confrontations to confirm the innocence of the former caretaker of the Embassy. He also emphasized that the wife of Ali Abanova not yet is a criminal case even as a witness, and just recently, she received second disability group, which is associated with heart disease, nervous disorders, “diseases of the female line” and amnesia is temporary memory loss. He also noted that his client was never familiar with other defendants in the case — Khudzhamov or Kalmykov, whom he saw only during the transport from court to the detention center.

Vladislav Trifonov, Sergey Sergeev