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Subject: Russian caviar found stashed in St Petersburg morgue

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/29/11 at 9:57 am

Russian police say they have discovered a large haul of rare caviar stored in a morgue freezer in St Petersburg.

Jars were also found next to bodies lying in coffins for viewing by relatives the next day, police said.

A businessman and a morgue attendant have been arrested. The businessman was said to be renting part of the morgue for his funeral services firm.

They told police the caviar had been intended to personal use during the pending new year celebrations.

The red and black caviar, weighing 175kg (385lb), apparently comes from endangered species. The red caviar, which made up most of the haul, was stored in five containers marked "Aviation Security. Inspected".

Police also found caviar in a fridge in a morgue workers' rest area and among the businessman's belongings.

It is unclear whether the men, aged 64 and 42, will face charges as possession of caviar is not illegal. Such a large amount would have cost a fortune on the open market and much of the trade in Russia is on the black market.

Police are still trying to find out the origin of the caviar and they are planning to question the hospital's chief sanitary inspector.

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