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Cleric with cocaine detained in Moscow

Jan. 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A Colombian cleric was detained by Russian police at a Moscow airport for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country, the Russian federal drug agency said.

The man, identified as Fabio Ricardo Rodriguez, claimed in an interview after his arrest he was forced to smuggle drugs by what he described as the Colombian mafia, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

"He was detained and delivered to a Moscow hospital, where some 13 containers with cocaine were discovered in the man's digestive tract. Five more containers with drugs were found in his luggage," a statement from the Federal Drug Control Service said.

Rodriguez served a parish in Bogota, Colombia, officials said, and is a member of a breakaway Anglican group in South America that identifies him on its website as a "missionary reverend," the news agency said.

He faces up to 15 years imprisonment if convicted.

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