News in Brief

Drug Smugglers Convicted



The Moscow City Court on Wednesday convicted three members of a purported drug trafficking ring of smuggling more than 200 kilograms of ephedrine into the country from South Africa.

The alleged leader, Pyotr Shilovsky, and husband-and-wife accomplices Pavel Grishin and Yelena Grishina, were convicted drug trafficking, smuggling and money laundering, a court spokeswoman said.

Shilovsky was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Grishin and his wife were sentenced to between 8 and 9 years in prison, the spokeswoman said.

The three were arrested in a May 2005 sting operation and charged with smuggling 224 kilograms of the synthetic amphetamine from South Africa. (MT)

4 Birds Detained






Four hazel grouses sent as a gift to a Novosibirsk zoo were detained for lacking proper documents, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Customs officials detained the birds at the Novosibirsk airport because the courier delivering them did not have the correct paperwork for importing wild zoo or circus animals, Interfax said. The grouses were later given the zoo, which is keeping them in quarantine.

Zoo director Olga Shilo said the grouses were a gift from an elderly German woman. "A pensioner from a small German town who was in Novosibirsk this summer and did not see her beloved hazel grouses decided to give them to the zoo," Shilo said, Interfax reported. (MT)