Зеличенко Александр Леонидович: другие произведения.

Red poppy flowers of Issik-Kul Lake.

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   Red poppy flowers of Issik-Kul Lake.
   In early ninetieths, seeking for the stabile economic footing to base the recently found sovereignty, Kyrgyzstan turned to the potential opportunity to revive the legal opium-poppy sowings. "The Red Professors" - belonging to the old, obsolescent scientific school academics and mettled officials called for this idea supporting. Unwilling to take the reality into account, they foamed at the mouth arguing for "the only way to raise an effective economical structure". Opium was proclaimed to become a universal panacea, equivalent of the public wealth, the prospect business-flourishing guarantee. "Our aborigines are the congenital immunity holders", - the narco-lobby broadcasted. "We had been harvesting the opi-poppy in decades and never had the drug-addicts among the local population. Don't care a rap about different moralists!" That time the common sense won the battle and did not let the country to be drowning in the worthless populism and false patriotism. But, supporting by the persistent economical crisis, the same question with enviable constancy appears to become raised up again and again. Today the republican Mass-Media found themselves in the new process of the "narco- Klondike's" problem puffing up...
   With the first world war beginning the regular delivering of morphine from Germany and opium from Turkey was cut off and in 1916 the governmental structures of the tsar's Russia agreed on the compulsory decision to start the opium-poppy sowing for the field-medical needs in the Far-East and Turkestan - the regional climate was appropriate. The first 26 metric tons of raw opium were harvested in the Seven-River's area and, mainly, in Issik-Kul basin.
   In 1917 all the existed opi-poppy fields and opium stockings were concentrated in Kyrgyzstan, included into the Seven-River's Region. In 1920, facing the danger of the aggravated drug-smuggling to China, opium itself and all linked proceeding were monopolized by the state, the drug-traffic had been recognized as a hardest criminal offence, aimed against the state. The penalty structures have got the official rights for the "pre-court execution, including the shooting up." The documental materials about the bloody skirmishes, armed chases and mass deportations of suspected to the concentration camps are still kept in the archives.
   To 1928 the annual internal country demand was fully satisfied by the domestic opium production, the opportunity for the opium export appeared and came into reality. In this connection the question of the raw material quality raised up, and the first group of 18 offenders, "harvested" the fake raw opium, were arrested. The count of the "narco-convictions" was initiated. 45 years later, to the dusk of the opium epoch, every eighth adult inhabitant of the Issik-Kul basin "passed through" the court sentence for the poppy-sap theft, it's storing, faking or pushing.
   The harvested fields of the collective farms became the main source of the stolen opium in the thirtieths. The black-market price for 1kilo of potion reached 1500 rubles; in the same time the official handover for the governmental successor price was 13.5 rubles. The drug-dealers of our time are still deriving their incredible profits from this huge gap in prices. The following figure is well known: every 1$, invested to the drug-business, gains 12 240$ annually! Here is the source of the narco-baron's wealth, terrorist's arming and unprecedented flowering of bribery.
   The criminal network, formed in the far thirtieths, had been in the very active exploitation in years and years. The stolen opium was intended for transporting via Tashkent, Turkmenistan or Trans-Caucasus to Russia and re-selling there for the mythically increased price. The information about one of the first famous successful "opium investigations" is still locked in the archive files: in 1936 the well-known Mafioso- Lyan-Un-Fu, in years pushed monthly almost 5 poods (< 90 kilo) of opium in Siberia, Far East and Central Asia, was neutralized by the National Commissariat of Interior. In Frunze Lyan, known as "yellow china-man", owned 10 drug-dens. A real stock of opium, morphine, heroin and cocaine, syringes, hookahs, pure gold, tsar's golden coins and soviet cash was seized in his house during the search.
   This one of the first criminal cases, linked with drugs, marked the phenomenon, left the "opium trace" in lives of numerous Kyrgyzians. To the middle of fiftieths by 80% of produced in USSR narco-contained crops and 16% of its world production were harvested on the republican territory. The narco-business aggravated correspondingly. According to the police criminal analytics, by one-fourth part of the whole annual production deviated to the black market.
   The furious flow of drug money managed to raise the real narco-industry in the circumstances of totalitarian regime and inhuman repressions. The number of grand narco-barons became the real forefathers of family business; the clans of Djabrailov, Tagaev, Kovalkov, Orozov succeeded the well-established drug-dealing networks on the local black-market. In 50th-70th the tens of highly organized criminal groups of narco-dealers, rooted from the Issik-Kul area, were neutralized by soviet law-enforcement agencies all over the country. One of them, leaded by Chernisheva, had 22 members. During a few years of this gang's illegal activity more than 200kilo of raw opium were stolen from the poppy fields, governmental stocks and collecting centers of the Issik-Kul Region of Kyrgyz Soviet Republic, transported and sold in Frunze, Tashkent, Ashgabad, Mary and Bayram-Aly by it's members. In order to find every link of this criminal chain, the law enforcement agencies of four soviet republics - Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan had to combine and coordinate their efforts.
   The drug-addiction constituted the problem also. Not so frightening as in our days, but the certain number of illegal drug consumers always existed. Otherwise who supposed to purchase the stolen opium? The potential clients that time could be easily found within the Kyrgyzstan borders; today, according to the international experts, the number of domestic abusers estimated by 50 000! The mass thefts of raw opium during the harvesting time had a stormy river flow character, in spite of the total checking. The police teams from all the soviet republics supported the local law-enforcement agencies in the poppy crops guarding, but almost every field-worker carried home from the plantation at least a few grams of dry poppy-sap. The hiding techniques in use were various and sophisticated- the hand-made capsules swallowing, entwining with the hair, sewing into the edges of cloth, even to tie down the pack to the tale of especially brought to the poppy field cat and let her home... The critically decreased amount of the officially handed over opium, against the predicted one and included into the governmental plan, had been considered as a signal to start the thorough combing out the poppy fields with the sniffing dogs (the method of those dog's special training included their feeding with small doses of seized drugs, so they became the real abusers). The police officers dug out hundreds of cans and mugs, filled in with the dried "poppy tears" and hidden in the sole till the end of the harvesting season and guarding withdrawal...
   Numerous wiles, ruses and round ways were found out by the narco-trafficants to avoid the police checkpoints on the roads. The craft caches they trusted even more than bribery. Nothing was sacred or forbidden. My father-the policemen with 40 years of working experience told me about the arrested in the late 60th in the public inter-town bus women with infant in arms. This courier transported drugs, hidden... inside the dead baby's body! Other passengers noticed that during hours and hours of the long trip mother never tried to check napkins or to give breast to her baby...
   The last time poppy field flowered near the Issik-Kul Lake in 1973. The threat of the aggravating narco-business and linked with drugs hard crimes - organized crime, corruption, drug-addiction forced Moscow to answer the numerous official requests of the UN Organization and to cut off the opium industry. Some small amounts of seized drugs could be found in the police official reports during few following years, but the dose in 20-30 grams already became significant. In the early 80th a new flow of narco-couriers, turned to hashish, rushed to the Issik-Kul basin.
   Covered hundreds of hectares wild fields of local marihuana appeared to be incredibly, deadly strong (so - super-expensive on the black-markets) and very prolific. During every harvesting season local law enforcement agencies arrested the "procurement agents" from all regions and republics of Soviet Union. Very soon the local population realized the high profitability of this business. Today every hectare of marihuana crops is one of the local families belonging. All family members, from elderly to younger, are involved into the guarding, harvesting, proceeding, storing and pushing. It is not a trick to imagine what will happen in case the sowing of the expensive opium poppy will start again. Just one small, but typical feature: the first rumors, appeared in 1991, about the official discussions of the "revival idea" in few days explosively increased the estate prices in the Issik-Kul area "above clouds". Visitors from Caucasus and Baltic countries paid the requested price without negotiations. In such a cases Mafia ready to pay easily or to neutralize the stiff-necked.
   In the same 1991 the idea of the business project "The Galenic Group of Medications in Kyrgyzstan" was elaborated. The working group of experts for the complex problem research on the preliminary stage was founded. The specialists team searched and discussed all the concerning aspects, from the economical efficiency to the modern methods of crops protection, managed to find the traces of the elite opium poppy seeds, in the circumstances of big secret transported to Russia "on the eve" of USSR collapse...
   The final conclusion was unambiguous - "a potato sowing might be more economically effective." First: the world legal medical procurements of drugs are strictly quoted and well provided by the existing mandatory world opium production (a glut on the legal world opium market in 1991 manifested already). So, in case of this project implementation, Kyrgyzstan had to come to the world markets with dumping prices. Such a step could (second) surely lead to the conflict with countries - official opium producers, political obstruction from the international society, expressed by the mostly powerful states and UN Organization, invested already a lot into the reform process in the country supporting. The domestic annual medical demand was so insignificant, that could not have any economical value.
   The impossibility to penetrate to the legal opium market even for Afghanistan, produced during the last year 4600 metric tons of the cheapest opium, became already obvious. From other hand, the Afghan narco-expansion today constitutes the straight and open threat to the national security of the all states of Central Asian Subregion. During the last - 1999 year in Kyrgyzstan, for example, 3416 criminal cases, linked with drugs, were investigated (+ 139 cases in comparison with 1998). It means - 8.65% of the whole number of investigated criminal cases; 1.9 metric tons of drug were withdrawn from the illicit turnover. The successfully completed by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Interior already in this - 2000 year anti-drug operation resulted in the organized criminal group neutralization and 200 kilo of smuggled Afghan opium confiscation. The death-dealing influence of the easy drug money on the level of corruption and criminal situation in the country is well known. Arms, terrorism, and extremism, coming to the country together with the flow of drugs, the harm of opium pest for the national genetic health are so clear to every one, who keeps his eyes open, that it is useless to waste time for explanations. In this context the idea to revive our domestic narco-plantations seems to be at least badly considered...
   And, finally, the third: the process of the all stages of technological chain (harvesting field - proceeding factory - pharmacy) constant and effective guarding and protection demands the incredible amount of investments. From the financial point of view the potato sowing really looks more reliable and profitable. Even the modern super-technological guarding system, used in Australia, could not secure the crops on 100%. In case, we start to produce and harvest opi-poppy, using our "grandfather's" methods, we could very soon find our country in the center of the world narco-mafia life interests. Then the last summer Batken narco-aggression could be considered as a kind of boy-scouts training games...
   Alexander Zelitchenko, police colonel.

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