3 Feb 2019 18:11

Court in Cabo Verde leaves Russian sailors suspected of drug smuggling in jail

MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) - A court in the Republic of Cabo Verde ruled on Sunday to remand the Russian sailors detained earlier on suspicion of drug smuggling in custody, although no official charges have yet been brought against them, the Russian embassy to Cabo Verde told Interfax.

"The court has held a hearing and chosen a restrictive measure. Namely, the judge ruled to remand [the sailors] in custody," an embassy spokesperson said.

The sailors are being held in prison in the city of Praia, he said.

"No official charges have yet been brought. The sailors will remain in custody pending the investigative procedures, after which official charges are expected to be brought," he said.

The diplomat said he was unaware how long these procedures could take.

"The Russian embassy and its employees remain permanently in touch with the investigative agencies and with the detainees. No complaints have been received from them so far. No violations have been recorded on the part of the Republic of Cabo Verde authorities, either," he said.

The Russian embassy keeps monitoring the situation, he said.

It had been reported on Friday that Cabo Verdean authorities had detained a vessel with 11 sailors on board at the Praia port on suspicion of an attempt to smuggle about nine tonnes of cocaine.