Intoxicated Russian surgeon steals heroin from a patient's belly (Reuters)

A drunk doctor in Russia has been arrested for stealing a 5g bag of heroin he found inside a patient's stomach.

Police in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk said they became suspicious following the operation, which had been carried out to remove the drugs from the smuggler's stomach.

They searched the doctor and found the bag secreted under his clothes.

"The doctor was intoxicated at the time of detention," police said, adding that he faced up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of theft and possession of an illegal substance.

Remote region

Investigators published a video showing the doctor being locked up in a cell, Australia's Associated Press reported.

It was unclear whether the patient the drugs were taken from was arrested.

Drug trafficking and drug use is a big problem in Russia and while the country does not produce heroin, it is used as a link between the main producing countries because of its vast size.

The so-called Balkan Route is still used as one of the main routes to transport drugs from East Asia to Europe.

A stash of cocaine smuggled among a cargo of bananas was recently seized by officials in Russia. The 265lb haul arrived at the western seaport of Kaliningrad inside five boxes in the banana shipment from Ecuador.