Several drug dealers who posed as estate agents to ship their products to clients have been detained by police in western Siberia, a statement on the local drug control website said Thursday.
The cunning scheme involved addicts calling up the "real estate" dealers and asking to rent a room for a specific number of hours — with the number of hours indicative of how many grams of heroin the addict wanted to purchase, the Federal Drug Control Service's Tomsk regional branch said in an online statement.
A second dealer would then travel to the relevant address to hand over the product, the statement added.
Police swiftly uncovered the scheme, seizing more than 230 grams of heroin from the dealers — 20 grams of which was stored in a freezer and more than 200 grams of which was kept in a children's sandbox in a playground, the statement said.
The drug service also said it had arrested a 29-year-old bricklayer who was a member of another gang that had attempted a similar scheme.
A married couple, who ran the second group's activities, were also detained after investigators seized about 300 grams of heroin, and 50 grams of synthetic cannabis, the drug service said in its statement.
Criminal cases have been opened against all of the detained on charges of dealing narcotics on a mass scale, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment.