Subject: News/RUSSIA: DRUGS, MIGRANTS, CONTRABAND MAJOR GENERAL ROMAS
From: Melanie Orhant (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Dec 06 1999 - 19:29:29 EST
12-3-99 RUSSIA: DRUGS, MIGRANTS, CONTRABAND MAJOR GENERAL ROMAS YUOZAS
YANAUSKAS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF THE FBS.
By Major General Romas Yuozas Yanauskas and Andrei Bystrov (Translation).
Major General Romas Yuozas Yanauskas speaks about the problems and
achievements of the Western Regional Department of the Russian Federal
Border Guard Service. RUSSIA'S HUGE BORDER HAS EQUALLY HUGE PROBLEMS
Four months ago the Western Regional Department of the Russian Federal
Border Guard Service (FBS) undertook a new type of activity - operative
guarding of the border, which is characterized by European quality: lesser
expenses with greater efficiency. This transition from the traditional form
of border guarding is the first experiment in the FBS system. Apart from
reconnaissance and other operative activities, this new type of border
guarding is based on old friendly contacts with Ukrainian frontier guards
and residents of the Ukrainian districts bordering Russia. Today Major
General Romas Yuozas Yanauskas, Deputy Chief of the Western Regional
Department, tells our readers about the novelties in border guarding.
Romas Yuozas: Our choice was partially influenced by the changes in the
character of illegitimate activities on the border. We are currently
observing an increase in the scale of drug smuggling and other forms of
contraband. The general level of conspiracy and organization of such
actions has recently risen. More and more often residents of near-border
districts and officers of local law enforcement agencies get involved into
Illegal migration of citizens of third countries is our special concern.
People illegally cross the border with help of well-organized transnational
criminal groups which consist of citizens of Russia, west-European and
southwest-Asian countries. One year ago we uncovered about 20 firms dealing
in illegal immigration. Three such firms alone (located in Novgorod) had
smuggled to Russia 551 Indian citizens. The firms chose a rather noble
pretext for their criminal activities, namely education of foreign students
at Russian universities. However, the contracts for education proved
falsified. Universities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Pskov, and Belgorod also
do not scruple to use such a way of obtaining money. Meanwhile, foreign
"students" are trying to get to Western countries from Russia.
Illegal immigration has become one of the main sources of income for ethnic
Diasporas in Russia and Ukraine. Suffice it to say that the transit of one
migrant costs $5,000 to $10,000. The situation with attempts to transit
drugs from Ukraine is also worrying; criminals are mainly trying to smuggle
drugs to Bryansk, Smolensk, and Belgorod.
In all of 1997 frontier guards confiscated over 92 kg of drugs, in 1998 143
kg, and during the first nine months of 1999 alone already 803.1 kg. In
addition, the share of so-called heavy drugs (opium, heroin, and drastic
medicaments) is growing.
On the other hand, we should note that the drugs that are shipped from
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are destined for West Europe and go
through the regions controlled by the Western Regional Department en route
to other countries. The groups engaged in these actions are also
international. Recently we have seized one such group consisting of over 30
people, among whom there were citizens of Russia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and
republics of Central Asia.
Our reconnaissance service is actively swapping information with Russian
law enforcement agencies and also our Ukrainian and Belorussian colleagues.
In the near future we will carry out an operation to intercept a very large
batch of drugs.
The size of contraband of economic character keeps growing, especially in
the directions of Rostov, Bryansk, and Belgorod. In 1998 frontier guards
confiscated over 3 million rubles' worth of smuggled commodities, whereas
during the first ten months of this year the overall figure is over 8
Criminal groups are continuing their attempts to arrange channels of
smuggling firearms and ammunition. This causes special anxiety of the FBS
in connection with the current events in the Caucasus. Nevertheless, so far
criminals are attempting to smuggle firearms from North Caucasus to Ukraine
via Rostov, not vice versa. According to our reports, certain Russian
political movements and their leaders are involved in contraband. As is
known, it is impossible to establish channels of migration and smuggling of
commodities without a screen, a respectable figure to cover up these
activities. In short, the electoral campaign costs dearly, and certain
candidates resort to illegitimate activities in order to earn money for
The rate of crime in the near-border districts is far from normal. Taking
into account the scantiness of the FBS' budget, its chiefs are only left to
rely on professionalism of their subordinates. So far, the Western Regional
Department is controlling only 10% of the contraband flow.
Original source, Moskovsky Komsomolets (Voronezh), November 11-18, p. 12.
WPS Inc, Russian Story, Inc.
DEFENSE & SECURITY 03/12/1999
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