5 Mar 2022 14:20

U.S. Olympic women's basketball champion arrested in Russia on suspicion of smuggling vapes with hash oil - Russian Federal Customs Service

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) - A female United States citizen was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with illegal drugs in February, a criminal case has been opened, and the suspect has been arrested, the Russian Federal Customs Service reported.

"As a U.S. citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo Customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage," it said.

While the U.S. citizen's luggage was being screened with x-ray equipment, an officer from the Sheremetyevo Customs drug smuggling division noticed the presence of electronic vape cartridges in it, it said.

"The customs inspection of the hand luggage being carried by the U.S. citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with specifically-smelling liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance," it said.

A criminal case has been opened against the U.S. citizen in line with clause 'c', Part 2, Article 229.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (smuggling of narcotic substances on a substantial scale, carries imprisonment of five to ten years).

"Pretrial custody has been chosen as a restrictive measure for the American," it said.

An investigation is currently underway.

"The detainee is a professional basketball player, a member of the Women's National Basketball Association, and a two-time basketball Olympic champion with the U.S. national team," it said.

The FTS did not report the suspect's name.

Meanwhile, a number of media outlets identified the suspect as Brittney Griner, 31, playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2015. As a member of the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team, she won gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games.