HomeNewsBriefEcuador Captures Suspected Russian Drug Trafficker
BRIEF

Ecuador Captures Suspected Russian Drug Trafficker

ECUADOR / 8 AUG 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Ecuador's arrest of a Russian national suspected of drug trafficking points to the country's importance as a operating base for international criminal groups.

On July 31, Ecuadorean police arrested Grigory Basalygin, a Russian citizen, in the port city of Guayaquil, reported La Hora. Basalygin is accused of drug trafficking and aggravated robbery in his home country and has had an Interpol red notice against his name since 2010.

According to Ecuador's deputy interior minister, Javier Cordoba, Basalygin arrived in Ecuador in 2006, and since then has left for only one month in late 2007 to travel to Italy and Spain.

He is due to be extradited to Russia, which the country requested in 2010.

InSight Crime Analysis

Basalygin is not the first suspected Russian criminal to have been captured in Ecuador. In June last year, authorities detained and later extradited Maxim Myasnikov, who was wanted for arms trafficking, following the extradition of another Russian citizen in April 2010. Like Basalygin, Myasnikov had reportedly been in Ecuador since 2006.

Ecuador's importance as a base for transnational organized crime led the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Andes operations to declare in May 2011 that the country had become the "United Nations" of organized crime. He cited cases of Italian, Albanian and Chinese groups all operating criminal networks out of Ecuador as evidence of this. A report by El Comercio last year found the Russian mafia to be linked to human trafficking networks in Ecuador.

Some factors attracting criminal groups to Ecuador are the country's lax visa policies, proximity to the world's cocaine producers, and use of the US dollar as currency, as InSight Crime has noted. The country's relative lack of its own criminal infrastructure -- compared to Colombia, for example -- provides space for transnational groups to move in.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 25 JAN 2019

Cocaine seizures at two of Europe’s biggest and busiest ports jumped by more than a quarter over the last year,…

ECUADOR / 23 OCT 2013

Authorities in Ecuador have arrested 50 members of a gang dedicated to assassination and drug trafficking, in an example of…

DRUG POLICY / 10 OCT 2014

Ecuador has released some 500 jailed drug "mules" as part of a new policy that sees them as victims, not…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…