Russia said Tuesday it had dismantled an international drug smuggling network as part of a collaborative operation with the United States, in a rare show of cooperation between Washington and Moscow. The Federal Security Service (FSB) said it had carried out a multi-stage mission with the US Department of Justice that ended with the seizure of 330 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of 1 billion rubles (about $13.6 million).
Video released by the FSB to Russian media showed plainclothes agents dragging suspects from cars as well as boxes of confiscated cash and drugs.
The security agency said in a statement that the joint-US operation had disrupted "a transnational criminal community that specialized in smuggling cocaine from South America to Russia and other European states."
The mission elapsed in several stages beginning in May this year in Saint Petersburg and concluded with the discovery of a cache in the Moscow region last month, the FSB said.
The operation was a rare example of cooperation between Russia and the United States, which share a deep and mutual distrust over a range of issues including election meddling and hacking.
Lawmakers in Washington said earlier this month that Russia was behind a recent massive cyber attack on U.S. government institutions, allegations that Russia said lacked evidence.
The two countries are also struggling to find common ground on the renewal of the New START nuclear arms control treaty which expires in February, 2021.
President Vladimir Putin said this month that Russia's ties with the United States were unlikely to improve under the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.