A Russian surgeon who helped himself to a bag of drugs he removed from a patient’s stomach faces up to 15 years in prison for theft and possession.
The doctor, who was high when police arrested him, had been asked to remove containers of heroin from the stomach of a suspected drug mule in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk.
A spokesman for Ministry of the Interior said the 32-year-old who worked in the small city of Bogotol had helped himself to capsules of the drug after removing in from the man’s stomach in a bid to save his life.
The drug courier, who was known to police, was said to have been travelling on a train between Krasnoyarsk and Bogotol when he was taken ill and rushed to hospital to have the contents of his stomach removed.
He is said to be in a coma and fighting for his life.
After the operation police officers checked the drugs containers removed from the smuggler’s stomach and searched the doctor after realising one was missing.
They found five grammes hidden in the surgeon’s clothing and found that he was high on drugs, too.
A police spokesman said: ‘The doctor was intoxicated at the time of detention’, and said he faced a jail term of up to 15 years for theft and possession of illegal substances.
The doctor, who has not yet been named, although a picture of him has been issued, is said to have refused to answer questions without a lawyer in the town that lies about 1,930 miles east of Moscow.