W.N.B.Inyenyeri Brittney Griner Yatawe muri yombi mu Burusiya ku byaha byo gucuruza ibiyobyabwenge kubera amakarito ya Vape atemewe.

Brittney Griner yari afungiye mu Burusiya nyuma yuko bivugwa ko abayobozi b’ikibuga cy’indege cya Moscou babonye amakarito ya vape arimo amavuta ya hashish mu byo yari atunze.

American basketball star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia after Moscow-area airport authorities reportedly found vape pen cartridges that contained hashish oil among her belongings, according to reports.

The W.N.B.A. Phoenix Mercury all-star player is now under investigation for drug trafficking, The Russian Federal Customs Service said in a statement on Saturday, an offense that could lead to a 10-year prison sentence. Russian media indicated that Griner was arrested in February, although reports failed to specify the exact date. Griner has not posted on her Instagram account since Feb. 5.

According to the Customs Service, Griner was arriving at the Moscow-based airport Sheremetyevo on a flight from New York when a police dog alerted officials to her luggage. Released video shows Griner’s bags being checked. Her items were then X-rayed, where the vape cartridges containing narcotic cannabis oil were allegedly discovered. Griner has been in Russian police custody since her arrest.

In addition to playing for the Phoenix Mercury in the U.S., Griner also competes in Russia’s women’s basketball league, playing for Yekaterinburg UMMC since 2015. Their season is currently underway, and Griner appears to have last played for the team in January.

Griner’s arrest and detainment comes as Russia’s relationship with Western countries has become direly strained, due to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The country has a history of arresting and sentencing Americans on bogus or heightened charges, according to the New York Times.

“I obviously don’t know the circumstances of her detention, but Griner’s arrest should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans in Russia,” Michael A. McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow told the outlet. “Get out. Shut down your businesses now.”

Griner’s current partner Cherelle Watson Griner has not yet made any statement on Griner’s arrest, nor has her immediate family members.

Her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said that Griner’s family members had been made aware of her detainment, adding, “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”

In a statement, Phoenix Mercury said it was “closely monitoring the situation” with Griner and was in “constant contact with her family, her representation, the W.N.B.A. and N.B.A.”

“We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home,” the team added. The W.N.B.A issued a similar statement, stating its main priority was bringing her home safely as soon as possible.

 

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