Police have busted what they say is Russia’s largest synthetic drug lab on a farm outside Moscow, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
Police published footage of the clandestine lab on a four-hectare farm in the city of Serpukhov 100 kilometers south of Moscow. It estimated that 1.5 metric tons of synthetic drugs may have been manufactured at the lab’s chemical reactors, each worth up to half a million rubles ($7,800).
“Production was in full swing when police arrived there,” Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said.
Police seized more than 100 kilograms of crystals, 1.5 metric tons of liquids, four tons of reagents, more than 600 kilograms of precursors and seven chemical reactors and other equipment.
Volk added that three chemical engineers of Ukrainian origin, a mule and the suspected organizer were detained. They each face up to 20 years on charges of drug manufacturing and distribution.
Authorities also disbanded four retail distribution networks and cut off 18 deliveries to northwestern Russia, Siberia and the Far East, she said.
Initial reports and video of the Serpukhov industrial drug lab appeared on anonymous social media channels Friday.
Last Wednesday, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said it seized 440 kilograms of hashish, MDMA and mephedrone from mules working for one of Russia’s largest darknet drug markets.
The retail value of the entire haul was estimated at 650 million rubles (over $10 million).