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Parcast Classic: Haji Bagcho

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Parcast Classic: Haji Bagcho

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2 months ago

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

To the graphic nature of this king pins crimes listener discretion is advised. This episode includes discussions of murder and assault that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. Haji bug show hated helicopters. They flew overhead constantly a never ending reminder of the American invaders. He couldn't even enjoy a cup of tea without it being interrupted by their buzzing he wondered where the choppers were going. This time the. Us military had been daily nuisance in Afghanistan for a decade but lately the foreigners had started targeting bogged chose heroin labs in the mountains. They were blowing them up one by one destroying his equipment and terrorizing his workers. It was costing him a fortune. The noise of the chopper blades was deafening and only kept getting louder. That's when Bob Show realized the helicopters weren't passing by. They were coming for him. I'm Howell argued and I'm Kate Leonard and this is kingpins every week. We journey inside the ranks of Organized Crime Rings From Street gangs to mafiosos to understand how a kingpin or Queen Pin Rises to the top of the underworld and why they fall as we follow the lives of infamous crime bosses will explore how money and power changed them and how it changed the community around them. This episode is about Haji bogged show who ran one of the most prolific drug trafficking rings in the world from the nineteen nineties. Two thousand nine at par cast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at par cast and twitter at Parkas network? And if you enjoy today's episode the best way to help us is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening. It really does help us. On June twelfth. Two Thousand Twelve seventy year old. Haji bug show stood before a judge in Washington DC. He was a long way from his home in Afghanistan and he might never be going back. Bob Show had just been convicted for drug distribution and narcoterrorism. His lawyers had advised him not to testify at the trial. They didn't want him to incriminate himself but at his sentencing hearing bogged show refused to stay silent. He ranted about the witnesses who had been called to testify against him. They were liars and criminals. According to Bob Show. He called himself an honorable man. A simple merchant like his father and his grandfather before him Cho- may have thought of himself as a merchant but it would be hard to describe his lifestyle as simple by his own admission bog. Joe Owned Property in both Afghanistan and Pakistan more than one person described his home in Afghanistan as a castle with a column lined. Main residence a guesthouse. Electricity and running water luxurious accommodations. Compared to his neighbors most people in bog chose. Providence earned a living by farming raising livestock or trading in lumber bog chose spent his days pudding together. Heroin deals in two thousand six his operation produced and sold over one hundred and twenty thousand kilograms of heroin about twenty percent of the world's total heroin supply that year in a single year bogged show earned two hundred and fifty million dollars making him one of the world's richest people and one of the world's poorest countries. The question is how did he get there? It's a difficult question to answer. Thanks to Afghanistan's chaotic past. Most of bog chose life is a complete mystery until the nineteen nineties when his international heroin operation seemed to emerge from the dust fully formed. But a little bit of history can help us fill in the blanks. Joe was born in nineteen forty two in the Non Gerhard province of eastern Afghanistan later in life bog show earned the title. Haji which is an honorific given to Muslims who have completed the pilgrimage to Mecca when bog show was growing up. Afghanistan was locked in a struggle between urban elites who wanted to modernize the country and rural tribal groups who preferred to keep their traditional ways of life in Nangahar bog. Cho- lived among a fiercely independent tribal community that resisted any intrusion. Bog Show called his people frontier. People the Western press had called the area ungovernable comparing it to the wild west militant groups from al-Qaeda to the Taliban to Aycell have all found refuge. Nangahar is remote mountains and complex cave systems in nineteen forty-five when bog show was just three years. Old Afghantistan banned opium production. As part of the government's modernization efforts after World War. Two new diplomatic relationships were forming around the globe and Afghanistan. DidN'T WANT TO BE LEFT BEHIND. The ban would show the world that Afghanistan was willing to comply with Western norms including drug control regulations but harvesting poppies was a part of daily life. In rural Afghanistan. Peasants made cooking oil from poppy seeds. They burn the flower. Stocks is firewood. They made soap from the Ash and the harvested opium from the flowers for us as a medicine. Banning opium was seen as a tone deaf insult to their traditions. The law was largely ignored as long as the government could point to the opium Ban as a talking point. They didn't bother actually enforcing it. Neighboring countries like Pakistan India and Iran all pass stricter opium bands over the next few decades and they took their regulations seriously as a result opium smuggling out of Afghanistan skyrocketed in the nineteen sixties. By the time bog Joe was in his early twenties. In the mid sixties drug trafficking rings had sprung up all along the border smuggling was so pervasive. It was hardly seen as illegal or immoral years later. After bogged Joe was arrested. His younger brother admitted he was a smuggler. That's true everyone in our area is Boncho came from a relatively well off family. He inherited property from his father. Who was a wooden merchant and used it to start several businesses gas stations. An electronics store an auto import company. But at some point he turned his focus to drug smuggling perhaps he saw it as a business opportunity to lucrative to pass up. He was right about that. It was a lucrative industry and completely resistant to political turmoil. Things didn't slow down at all when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in nineteen seventy nine. The Soviet invasion was meant to reinforce Afghanistan's new communist government which had won control in a coup the previous year Afghan rebel fighters who call themselves the mujahideen violently resisted the new communist government and the Soviet Army. The war devastated the country. Soviet troops targeted rural farmers burning fields and destroying irrigation canals but poppies were durable crop. They kept flourishing even in the midst of war so thousands of farmers switch their crop of choice to poppy flowers. Opium production increased exponentially and drug traffickers. Had A rebel army ready and willing to protect them Mujahideen. Commanders forged an alliance with drug traffickers including Haji bog show the invested money and resources into smuggling operations and in return smugglers gave the mujahedeen cut of their profits which they used to fund their fight against the Communists then Mujuhedeen funding source to the United States. Government almost immediately after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The C. I. A. began secretly arming and financing the rebel forces in their fight against communism the US was willing to ignore the fact that some of those funds and guns were making their way to drug traders. The increasing flow of drugs was actually a bonus hero and started falling into the hands of the Soviet troops. Soon enough the Soviets were busy shooting up. Instead of spreading the red menace of communism a decade after their invasion the Soviets decided the war was too costly to maintain. They finally withdrew from Afghanistan in nineteen eighty nine but by then an entire drug industry had blossomed from the burnt fields. Relationships had been made trafficking routes had been established and huge opium bazaars had sprung up throughout the country in the early nineteen eighties. One of these opium markets opened in Gani Kill about twenty miles from the city of Jalalabad. It's sprawled across several blocks like a giant flea market with over five hundred dusty shops and booze but instead of selling antiques and goods merchants here sold opium. Throngs of people pushed their way through the bazaar every day among them was Haji bogged show by the end of the Soviet war in nineteen eighty nine bog. Show was nearly fifty years old. And one of Afghanistan's richest drug smugglers. Although he wasn't yet making the nine figure deals he would later be known for some of Bug chose contemporaries were notorious for their decadent lifestyles infamous Afghan kingpin. Haji Khan was known for his extravagant alcohol. Fueled parties a big taboo in a traditionally Muslim country. But bonk showed didn't have that reputation. He was a family man. He had six brothers two wives and sixteen children. He ran his drug operation like any other family. Business is brother. Bandeau oversaw drug labs where chemist manufactured heroin from opium paste. Bog chose son. Soochow Goule handled the money and recordkeeping bogged show employed about two hundred fifty workers. Even if they weren't blood related bog show wanted them all to feel like they were part of the family. He kept them close. Both emotionally and physically. Most of his servants lived full time on his family's compound bog. Joe Even built a house right next to his own for his top chemist farm on Shah bog chose favorite servant. Cari later said I was not his real son but when it came to food clothes and other things I was treated the same. As his son's bag show was a hands on manager he visited bazaars personally to ensure the opium he purchased was top quality. He then sent the opium to his drug labs which were nestled high in the mountains of Nangarhar thousands of feet above ground level once the chemist extracted heroin from the opium. The drugs were brought to bog chose compound where bog show directed his workers to wrap it in. Plastic stamped with bog chose signature seal to his clients. That seal meant that they were getting the best. Most of the heroin was loaded into trucks and smuggled into Pakistan bog show regularly met with Afghan police and Border Patrol officials for a price. He could make sure that none of his couriers ever ran into any trouble as they moved. Caravans of heroin across Afghanistan's route a one for smaller orders. Bod Show had an even more careful strategy. The couriers wouldn't eat for days. Before their task. Their work required empty stomachs. The heroine was put into capsules and when the time came they swallowed them washing them down with glasses of milk in the early nineteen nineties by. Chou built a second home base in Pakistan. He had dual citizenship which wasn't uncommon. The line between the countries was seen as arbitrary among the tribal communities who traded freely and spoke a common language this second home by Joe and his family a place to escape the new wave of violence and disorder. That was already sweeping across Afghanistan.