A surgeon suspected of helping himself to a packet of heroin that he found in a patient's stomach during surgery is looking at 15 years in prison.
The incident took place in the Bogotol hospital in the Krasnoyarsk region, during surgery on a man suspected of being a drug courier, who happened to be concealing a batch of drugs in his stomach, Interfax reported Tuesday.
After the operation "police searched the surgeon and confiscated a packet containing five grams of heroin, which he had hidden in his clothes," the police said in a statement.
The surgeon has been charged with unlawful purchase, stealing and possessing narcotic substances in large quantities.
Drug addiction is a significant social problem in Russia. Every year, drugs kill 100,000 young people aged between 14 and 35, said Oleg Safonov, the deputy director of the Federal Drug Control Service.
"Some 3 million people in Russia use drugs regularly, up to 6.5 millon people use them from time to time and some 18 million people have tried drugs at least once," Safonov said in July, Itar-Tass reported.