Russia seizes cocaine hidden in roses

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Drugs officers in Saint Petersburg seized 42 kilograms (92.4 pounds) of cocaine smuggled into Russia in boxes of cut flowers, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The Saint Petersburg regional anti-narcotics department seized the cocaine at a wholesale flower depot in the city where it was packed in a box containing roses and asters, spokesman Andrei Panov told AFP.

"According to preliminary information, the cocaine was transported to Saint Petersburg from South America, via the Netherlands, Germany and Finland," Panov said.

The cocaine had a street value of three million dollars, Russian television reported, showing the cellophane-wrapped packages in a box of white flowers.

Russia imports almost all its cut flowers, with the largest share coming from the Netherlands.

© 2010 AFP

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