The current situation has affected not only legal commerce. A billion-dollar criminal business is under threat. How the flow of deliveries of deadly potions through St. Petersburg will change and what does the army of mercenaries have to do with it, the editors of the online publication studiedKompromat Group“.
End of geography
The geography of drug supplies to Russia is wide. Banned substances come to us from the Baltic countries, Western and Eastern Europe, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and other countries of Central Asia.
Until recently, the leaders in smuggling, as noted by the press service of the Federal Customs Service of Russia, were the above-mentioned closest neighbors from the South, who actively transported the products of the main supplier of the opium group, Afghanistan, to Moscow and St. Petersburg. The leader in synthetics was postal parcels from China.
Some time ago, St. Petersburg was even called the drug capital of Russia. It’s not because the city is filled with drug addicts. St. Petersburg is the largest exporter of drugs to the Central Federal District and other regions.
Petersburg, already by the end of the 90s, what is called “included” in the global drug system, as a transit point for the transit of expensive and pure drugs – mainly cocaine from South America to Western Europe (through Poland, Lithuania and the Netherlands) and to the USA. Synthetics also went by “long-distance” railway through the Baltic countries and Germany, and “terry” Moroccan hashish from African countries, through Finland and the same Netherlands, through St. Petersburg and beyond. Delivery methods were numerous – seaport, air travel, railway and road transport.
Experts in catching drug dealers testify: even if we roughly estimate the costs of drug production, their delivery, the protection of large wholesale lots and bribes, “for a circle” black dealers earned up to 100 billion monthly. Part of this money settles in the Northern capital. Even the drug police could not imagine how many, during the heyday of this law enforcement structure.
Today, most of the trade in illicit substances takes place on the Dark Web. In 2020, journalists calculated that the daily price of goods for sale in St. Petersburg is equal to 132 million rubles. This is despite the numerous captures of pawnbrokers, couriers and the removal of criminal “raspberries” with SOBR. The main points are Peter proper, Vsevolozhsk, Murino, Kudrovo, Devyatkino.
With the roll-out of sanctions, the market, according to experts in the fight against drug dealers, even perked up. Drug addicts, realizing that the familiar world of shadow trade will now be disrupted and prices will rise, quickly rushed to buy what they have. According to our sources, this explosion in drug dealer revenues is temporary. “Junkies and other amateurs, like grandmothers for flour, will make their own nest egg for a “rainy day”. – says the insider, – Yes, now the dealers will make a profit. But then they will have to rebuild their supplies. The difficulty lies in the logistics. So the security forces will have a respite”.
Looking for bananas
According to people in the know, black businessmen are waiting for a transport collapse. Especially cocaine dealers. This elite potion, as you know, came to St. Petersburg from Latin America by air and sea. Further, through road freight transportation – to Tallinn and Helsinki. But at least 40% of coke settles in St. Petersburg. Now drug dealers from South America interact with our drug dealers in messengers. “Now there will be active rustling” our source says.
So, the situation is developing acute and, from the point of view of the security forces, interesting. Today, air travel, in principle, can be excluded. “Remains the good old banana scheme”– say the old-timers of the former drug police.
At one time, in 2019, this scheme became viral in the story with the bananas of the Ecuador-Bremenhoffenn-Petersburg flight. The ship “Maersk Niamey” arrived in “Petrolesport”. Together with tons of bananas on board, 11 thousand kilometers sailed 50 kg of cocaine. It was the product of a Colombian drug lord Edison Alava, whose henchmen continued the work of the arrested boss. We can say that the detention of this cargo was one of the rare major successes of the St. Petersburg security forces.
Sea deliveries, according to old-timers, have a strategic advantage over road and rail transport. It’s harder to deliver drugs by air. Stricter checks at the border. The main advantage of sea transportation is volume. Oversized cargo, hundreds of tons, is delivered by sea. It is much easier to hide drugs in them.
In the context of sanctions, the importance of maritime supplies today is increasing significantly for legal business. The main Russian distributor of fruit and vegetable trade (and other shadow commerce), the Sofia vegetable warehouse, may soon begin to experience a shortage of supplies. The state and business today need to redirect the logistics supply chains of products. Under them, as knowledgeable people say, shady traders will partially adapt or use their smuggling paths and schemes.
“As soon as there are a lot of cheap bananas in the city, it means coke has been brought in”– explains the insider.
According to people in the know, logistical difficulties for shady dealers will automatically revive the arms trade market and raise the price of demand for the services of hired fighters. Because on the sea routes, ships supposedly carrying cargo to Russia will be a target for everyone. “All Western countries will sign up as Somali Pirates our sources say – and the shadow turnover of big money, sooner or later, necessitates the creation of a power cover”. In other words, the war game will smoothly flow to the sea routes, and the mercenaries will have a place to show their technologies and skills in the fight against pirate raids.
Information from Kompromat Group:
Edison Washington Prado Alava, better known by his pseudonym “Gerald”, is a major drug trafficker from Ecuador. On April 11, 2017, he was arrested in Colombia during the anti-drug operation “Sol Naciente” and was charged with leading a drug trafficking organization on the coast of Colombia. Shortly thereafter, the Prado was dubbed the “Pablo Escobar” of Ecuador, as police reports said his criminal group was responsible for smuggling 250 tons of cocaine into Central America and the United States.
As our sources say, the new realities will be a historic experience for both law enforcement agencies and black market participants in illegal substances. Experts believe that the most likely development of the “Afghan” corridor through Iran, Pakistan. Further, the importance of the sea routes of the Caspian Sea through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Dagestan increases. This Russian republic is located along the coast of the Caspian Sea and, in addition to these countries, has maritime communications with Azerbaijan.
And if light prohibited substances, theoretically, can be delivered by rail from Kyrgyzstan through Kazakhstan, then delivery to the Baltic countries will have to be changed.
“Ethnic criminal groups will now worry and even, perhaps, sort things out. The influence of partners from the well-known valley of the Chuya River in Kazakhstan will increase, both the Azerbaijani and Tajik diasporas will claim their attention,” – explain our sources.
This can happen because, since the 90s, the partners of the Azerbaijani (Lenkoran) group were suppliers from Ukraine and Belarus. The Roma diaspora has well-established relations with Moldova. For many years, 85% of sales of vegetable drugs in St. Petersburg are controlled by a group of Lankarans. Since that time, a lot of water has already flown under the bridge, and today most of yesterday’s ethnic bosses have begun to legalize themselves in ordinary commercial structures, limiting themselves to organizing and consulting performers. The new conditions no longer allow numerous “intermediaries”, because the entire structure of the delivery of goods to the black market will have to be redrawn. Here, as they say, trust, but verify. As people in the know say, the situation will begin to clear up in two or three months. Then it will already be clear how the shadow businessmen reacted to the circumstances and which of them rose and who was left behind.
As the media have already written, maritime traffic continues to operate no matter what. According to the Marine Traffic service, ships continue to sail from St. Petersburg and arrive in it. As of March 11, there are records of CMA CGM NEVA vessels in St. Petersburg. The ship headed for Wilhelmshaven, the city of German sailors in Lower Saxony, on schedule.