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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 10:18

Pyrenean break

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From time to time, the “Modus Operandi” of security forces is replenished with new arsenal, and drug traffickers then have troubles. In the late 1980s, I remember, over the years, operatives who did not change their “course of action” adopted from advanced Western colleagues and secured “Controlled Purchases” by law.
Before that, police could surveil distributors as much as they could, identify their connections, caches, etc., but when it came to buying drugs, which allowed checking its purity, show money and, by doing so, push deeper into trust - STOP! The law did not allow us to do this. It was necessary to "take" the seller, even with a minimum dose. Or let go. This was used by criminals and, checking, they often brought fake or insignificant quantity of prohibited substance to the meeting - barely enough for forensic examination.
Over the years, criminals have become accustomed to such an algorithm of investigators. And when it came to controlled purchases that allowed buying small quantities of drugs “to try”, the stereotype worked: “since money is paid, it means that it is not cops.” Effectiveness of raids soared tremendously! But not for long – crime soon learned to conduct its "counter-intelligence activities".
Apart from that, “controlled deliveries” secured by a UN Convention proved to be well recommended, when a drug trafficker is allowed to cross a state border, get to the main recipient and thus reveal the entire criminal chain.
So, it is in the "who is smarter" mode that police operational services worked for many years.
Today, many unique methods have appeared on their arsenal, increasing efficiency by several times. One of the most productive, in my opinion, is the study and analysis of risk profile used in tracking large trucking companies, sea containers, railway and air cargo.
I will not disclose the method itself here for obvious reasons. And not only did it turn out to be the “golden key”. In an operation, the results of which I want to share, whole arsenal of police forces and equipment was involved, operatives of several countries worked together to solve the case.
... For some time interests of Moroccan hashish distributors and Belgian drug cartels supplying synthetic materials to the black market have come together in the Pyrenees. Traffic volumes, methods of transportation and strictest conspiracy of the drug business was astonishing! Anasha was delivered from North Africa into Europe on small boats via Gibraltar.
This route was previously well known to border guards and customs. But usually smugglers preferred to work alone, not uniting in gangs. Doing the will of the contractor, most often remaining incognito even if they were caught, “drug captains” acted at their own peril and risk.
But this time it was different. Number of smuggler was massive and they were organized. Under the cover of night or in fog, dozens of motorboats not controlled by radars went out into the sea, each having a personal route, unloading point was determined with trucks waiting for consignment. Product was instantly overloaded and immediately went deep into the continent. It is clear that all operations were ordered, coordinated and controlled from one center. The final destination of the potion delivery was Russia...
Thus, with participation of colleagues from several countries, the operation “Pyrenean break” that lasted for long nine years began.
At the beginning, using risk profile analysis, we determined means of drugs transportation. Gradually, we found out that each batch was sent to Russia on 10-15 cars filled with briquettes with hashish mixed with synthetic drug. Such a "brick" weighed from thirty to one hundred and fifty kilograms. Each consignment contained tons of deadly cargo.
Ingenious caches ... In the process of equipping them, not only car trims were filmed. Body elements, technological cavities were opened, gas tanks were altered. The shipment became almost invisible and intangible: when it was treated with chemicals specially developed for drug cartel, it became inaccessible to service dogs. Only thorough, layered, inch by inch, X-ray...
As if in mockery, narcotic cargo was packed in bright marking materials with the emblems "Porsche", "Audi", and Euro. Controlled deliveries made it possible to track routes, transshipment points, identify specific individuals involved in drug trafficking, and establish operational surveillance of them.
The apotheosis of the operation was the seizure of five tons of Moroccan hashish and a particularly large load of Belgian synthetics, as well as weapons and ammunition. Following this joint group of police from Spain, Moldova, Belarus, Russia and other countries arrested throughout Europe and in the Russian open spaces already well known to the investigation ... 45 heads of the syndicate.
Behind the bars are the so-called “thieves in law” Mikka, Patron, Turk, criminal authorities Tsyn, Lika ... And on October 1, 2017, the drug cartel was finally beheaded: at the suggestion of Russians, Moldovan special forces in Chisinau disarmed “Parteigenosse Borman”, who is also known as Oleg Prutyanu in more than twenty criminal cases.
The leader is clearly facing life sentence...

Alexander Zelichenko,
Bishkek, December 2018

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