Will an international narco-cartel declare ‘Heroin War’ on Georgia
17 July, 2014
As a result of joint investigative operation of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Revenue Service of Finance Ministry, 2 tons and 700 kilos of liquid heroin were found after inspecting a lorry (according to the specialists, total sum can reach $400-500 million). It was established by the investigation that the lorry entered Georgia from Azerbaijan and headed to Turkey. The law-enforcers withdrew 93 units of 30-kg barrels (having the inscription ‘liquid soap’) of liquid heroin. According to preliminary information,
the narcotics contain 80 percent pure heroin. Two Georgian citizens have been arrested. The investigation is ongoing. Jemal Janashia, major-general of security forces:

We can conclude that Georgia has become a standard drug transit space. This already means that more than one trailer has passed through the country. The drug business is characterized by a vast latency. In case of good work of field services, one case can be revealed out of 8-10. The cargo has passed through Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan and it has been detained on our territory.
I think the liquid heroin had to reach a place where it would be stored (one of the European countries could be the last point of destination). The recipient is aware how to handle it – to recrystallize it, i.e. evaporate the contained liquid to get a pure crystal, a powder-like substance.

Q. – Last year consignments of heroin from Armenia were arrested in Akhaltsikhe. Could you explain how many and what routes are there in Georgia to spread narcotics?

A. – Today there are several possible routes for transportation and illegal spreading of narcotics:

1. From North Ossetia via Georgian Military highway (Kazbegi-Dusheti-Tbilisi, Poti; then Turkey or Europe;
2. From North Ossetia through the Roki Tunnel (Tskhinvali-Gori territory, Tbilisi or to Western Georgia);
3. The same route but instead of Western Georgia the consignment can be directed to Akhaltsikhe or Akhalkalaki customs;
4. Iran-Armenia-Georgia (then through the ports – to Turkey or Europe);
5. From Azerbaijan - via Georgian territory;
6. From Abkhazia via Zugdidi forbidden cargos go to Tbilisi; but from Abkhazian ports – to Turkish ports.

Q. – What are the threats facing Georgia and what preventive measures are to be taken to avoid them?

A. – The first threat is that a certain part of every consignment stays in Georgia. Each barrel contains 30 kg of heroin; 5 grams are enough for 50-70 people thus one barrel would be enough for about 2 million customers. Second – if we acquire the image of a drug transit country, it’s disadvantageous for us politically as well as economically.
Vakhtang Maisaia, political scientist, military expert: I’m sure the consignment started from Afghanistan. It can’t be ruled out that the heroin comes directly from Taliban or drug mafia groups acting in Afghanistan (who are closely connected with the Taliban). To make money for hiring new soldiers the Taliban has found the shortest drug route: Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and then already Europe.
Ioseb Zaalishvili, expert in issues of Middle East and Islamic terrorism: “It’s obvious that the three tons of consignment wasn’t meant to stay in Georgia. It had its owner – the sender and the receiver. It isn’t ruled out that these people may create big problems for us and declare a ‘Heroin war.’