In late August 2014 big headlines talked about an Argentinian kid arrested in Russia because of drugs. As with these type of headlines the information presented was a collection of exaggerations and little details.
In the following weeks the “caught trafficking illegal drugs” was replaced by “half a joint was found” and the revelation that he was a white upper-middle class kid with a clean background. Few years ago when he was 19, Kevin decided to quite school to go backpacking through Europe. While working at a hostel in St. Petersburg he meet a Finnish girl, few months later got married and settle in Finland.
Turns out that on a sunny summer Thursday, Kevin drove a friend to the airport in St. Petersburg and on his way back was stopped by the custom police at the border. In what he describes as “complete irrational behavior”, the police searched the car with flashlights, dogs and even took one of the seats off the hinges. Half a dead joint, smoked and discarded long time ago was the price found by this officers.
This set off a six month ordeal where he was first interrogated for 30 hours straight and had to sign some documents in Russian, even though he couldn’t read them. The judge who took the case ordered preventive detention and he spent a full week in solitary confinement. It was here when he found out he could be facing from three to seven years in jail.
He was then transferred to Kresty Jail in St. Petersburg, a hell hole built during the times of the Tzars and never remodeled. Visits were only twice a month for 30 to 40 minutes. Month and half later he finally had his day in court and because of procedurals failures, the case had to be started all over again. Here he was allowed to be moved to a hotel where he end up spending the remaining months.
From Argentina his parents hired a private attorney to represent him and keep track of the case. Behind the scenes the Argentinian government through its Ministry of International Relations started pulling the levers of power to dismiss the case and free him up. Odd considering that Argentina’s law on “illegal drugs” operate along the same lines and there is one person arrested per hour according to THC Magazine.
In early 2015 the case was dismissed due to the political pressure from the Argentinian government. On his way back to Finland, Kevin’s car was stopped again at the border, searched and the officers even tried to confiscate the car because of his “criminal record”.
At the end everybody was happy when Kevin was freed and arrived home safely. Including those who were arrested in Argentina at a rate of one per hour during the same six months Kevin was detained but unlike him, are still in jail.
Source: Revista THC