Former employee at Vice Media's Toronto office linked to global drug ring
Most people associate Vice with ultra-hip, youth-focused content about food, parties, music and on-the-ground news from around the globe.
Now thanks to allegations surrounding a former editor, their Canadian headquarters here in Toronto has turned into a story of its own.
According to the National Post, former Vice Media music editor Yaroslav Pastukhov might have tried to use the Toronto office as a base for recruiting journalists into a drug smuggling ring.
"Three current or former Vice journalists independently told the Post that Yaroslav Pastukhov, then Vice Canada’s music editor who went by the name Slava Pastuk, personally tried to recruit them as international drug couriers, offering each of them $10,000 to carry illicit cargo hidden in the lining of suitcases from Las Vegas to Australia," writes the Post.
According to the report, the journalists in question all refused the offer, but several people associated with Pastukhov, including his one-time roommate Jordan Gardner, have been arrested for possession of cocaine since 2015. Gardner is currently in an Australian prison.
Holy shit. One of the editors I worked with on a story back at Vice was reportedly running cocaine smuggling ring out of the Toronto office.— Julia (@loudmouthjulia) February 3, 2017
Vice Canada disassociated themselves from Pastukhov in February 2016 after employees raised concerns about him, which precipitated an internal investigation by the company.
The Post claims they are not aware of any criminal charges or police investigations into Pastukhov's alleged activities.
has anyone written a take on how depressing it is Vice pays it staff so little it took a drug investigation to reveal more work conditions— Karen K. Ho (@karenkho) February 3, 2017
The story has since been picked up internationally by publications such as the New York Post and the Hollywood Reporter.
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