Search

 

Cablegate: Turkmenistan: Women Increasingly Involved In

VZCZCXRO0444
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHAH #0190/01 0411212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101212Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4220
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 6242
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 3917
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3776
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4486
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000190

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, INL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM PGOV SOCI TX IR
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: WOMEN INCREASINGLY INVOLVED IN
DRUG TRADE

ASHGABAT 00000190 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public
Internet.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Chief of the State Counter
Narcotics Service (SCNS) reported at the February 5
session of the Cabinet of Ministers that two Ashgabat
women had been arrested for heroin smuggling. No
other details regarding the women's background or
activities were provided in news reports of the
incident. During one broadcast, the two women were
shown, in tears, publicly admitting guilt and asking
for the president's forgiveness. At the cabinet
meeting, President Berdimuhamedov expressed "deep
concern" over the increasing number of women involved
in the drug trade and stressed that there was "no
place for drug traffickers in Turkmen society." END
SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) At the February 5 session of the Cabinet of
Ministers, the Chief of the State Counter Narcotics
Service (SCNS), Colonel Aman Garayev, reported that
two female residents of Ashgabat, Gulshirin Meredova,
age 28, and Bahargul Yagshyeva, 35, had been arrested
for trafficking and distributing narcotics. Yagshyeva
is reportedly married with one son, and Meredova is
single. Both were in the business of importing goods
from Iran, Turkey, and Dubai. As was shown in
television news reports of the incident, the women had
attempted to transport brown heroin packed in a nylon
sports bag that had been placed in the center of a
rolled up curtain. Also confiscated was a large
amount of cash in Turkmen manats and U.S. dollars, as
well as scales and weights.

4. (SBU) As is customary in arrests that are made
public, no details were provided about how the
operation was conducted, the amount of heroin seized,
the location of their arrest, or the existence of
accomplices. Instead, both women were shown standing
against a wall, crying and begging for the president's
forgiveness. Both publicly admitted their guilt and
promised to never again be involved with drugs.
Yagshyeva, in her statement, was heard to say, "... I
am guilty before my parents and relatives, everybody,
and our people. I got involved in this illicit
business because I was spoiled. I am a disgrace as a
mother and I have destroyed my life." Meredova then
confessed "... I repent for getting involved in this
illicit business as a woman... I promise I will never
ever do it again. Now, I have lost face among
people..."

5. (SBU) According a police contact, slightly less
than two kilograms of heroin were seized from the
women as they attempted to re-enter Turkmenistan from
Iran. Reportedly, all of the goods they had with them
were also confiscated, together with several thousand
dollars worth of cash in Turkmen manats and U.S.
dollars. This was reportedly not the first time that
the women had imported heroin to Turkmenistan. They
had allegedly smuggled drugs into the country from
Iran several times during the past year and had
managed to elude detection. It is unclear whether
customs officials had previously been involved and or
who had supplied the drugs to them.

6. (SBU) President Berdimuhamedov referred to the
arrests during the cabinet session, and said "... the
fight against drugs should be consistent and

ASHGABAT 00000190 002.2 OF 002


uncompromising. The point here is not about my or
somebody else's personal view on this issue. It is
much deeper, as it is about [preserving] the fabric of
our nation. ... We started the war against drugs by
taking administrative measures and established a
government agency to combat narcotics. If necessary,
we will establish yet another agency to work in this
direction..." Underlining the need to take effective
measures against drugs, the president then focused on
the fact that women appear to comprise the majority of
drug traffickers.

7. (SBU) A highlight of the president's speech was
when he announced to provincial governors, mayors and
heads of public organizations that "In the villages
and cities, you are called upon to conduct public
events with the participation of elders and other
respected people in society and wage a decisive battle
against drug addicts and dealers. If we don't call
upon all of our people to get involved in the fight
against this evil, then we will not be able to achieve
our goal and we will not succeed at ridding this evil
from our society." Addressing the governor of Ahal
province, which borders Iran, he said, "In the
province that you head, the mayors of districts work
ineffectively with the population. Rather than
improving the situation, the level of drug trafficking
has increased. The situation is equally bad in the
other provinces. We will return to this issue later
this year. If the governors of provinces do not
achieve good results, I am warning that they will face
consequences. If you do not take decisive action,
even meeting your cotton or grain harvest quotas will
not excuse you." He further admonished non-
governmental organizations to work effectively in the
battle against drug addicts and dealers, saying "There
is no place for drugs in our society."

8. (SBU) COMMENT: Berdimuhamedov's speech was very
well received by the public. While no statistics were
disclosed, it would appear that the problem is
becoming serious enough that the president felt
compelled to refer to the need "rescue a generation"
from drugs. Many believe the speech was a green light
to NGOs and other public organizations to move ahead
in drug demand reduction activities. The president
has also put provincial governors on notice, that
fighting drugs should be their number one priority.
END COMMENT.

CURRAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>