MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian police on Tuesday 13th August said they had arrested a Siberian surgeon on suspicion of stealing heroin that he had just extracted from the stomach of a drug mule.
The surgeon at a hospital in the small town of Bogotol more than 3,000 kilometres(2,000 miles) east of Moscow was high on drugs when he was arrested, the police for the Siberian Krasnoyarsk region said in a statement on their website.
The surgeon carried out an operation to remove packages containing heroin from a man's stomach at the request of police, but the criminal investigative department later realised some of the drugs were missing.
"When they searched the surgeon, they found a package with five grams of heroin hidden in his clothing. At the moment of the detention, the doctor was in a state of narcotic intoxication."
In a police video, the surgeon declined to answer questions. He faces up to 15 years in prison for theft and possession of a large amount of drugs.
The police arrested the suspected drug carrier, a man from the ex-Soviet state of Tajikistan, when he fell ill on a train between the Siberian cities of Novosibirsk and Irkutsk, a regional transport police spokesman told Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.
The train stopped at the nearest station, the town of Bogotol, and police took the courier, who had slipped into a drug-related coma after the heroin leaked into his stomach, to have the packages surgically removed.
The surgeon involved had previously been convicted of drug possession, regional police spokesman Vladimir Yurchenko told the RIA Novosti news agency.