Friday, February 3, 2017

Former Vice Media editor used Canadian headquarters as a recruiting hub for his cocaine-smuggling ring

A former Vice Media editor used the outlet’s Canadian headquarters in Vancouver as a recruiting hub for his cocaine-smuggling ring — luring young journalists and artists with no criminal records to be international drug mules.

Yaroslav Pastukhov seemed like a rising star at the edgy news company. The 26-year-old, who went by the name Slava Pastuk, had served as the editor of their online publication Noisey, and was in charge of the Vice Canada music coverage. But there was one role that Pastukhov took on during his time at Vice that wasn’t listed under his job description: international drug-smuggler.
At least three journalists who used to work for the company said that Pastukhov had tried to recruit them to be his personal drug couriers. He allegedly offered each of them $10,000 to smuggle illicit cargo from Las Vegas to Australia.

While those claims against Pastukhov have yet to be corroborated by police or proven in court, his roommate is currently awaiting sentencing after being caught at an airport in Sydney with a stash of cocaine worth between $5.1 million and $6.6 million. Pastukhov is allegedly part of a massive drug scheme headed by a Mexican cartel.
Pastukhov was joined by three other Canadians and one American when he was arrested on December 22, 2015. A VICE spokesperson said that Pastukhov was “promptly terminated” following an internal investigation.