Crash of Boeing 747 near Bishkek is still shrouded in secrecy. The caused of the tragedy are not announced, owner of the cargo, who sent it from Hong Kong to Istanbul, is not found, and it was not explained why the plane landed in Manas.
According to one version, the plane has to land for refueling and crew change, to the other - for unloading. 24.kg news agency found out that the lighters that were found at the crash side had already been imported into the country.
Sensation or insinuation?
After the tragedy, the leader of Ata Meken faction Omurbek Tekebayev issued a statement that smuggled goods have been regularly unloaded in Manas airport. It has been also carried on that luckless day, January 16.
"I have a letter from the Turkish company, they had no need to refuel in Kyrgyzstan. The truth is hidden from the public. We need to identify the guilty. It is wrong to risk the lives of our citizens and to hide the truth in chase of profit. Someone received 25 million of profit from each cargo. It was contraband. That's right, that the Kazakhs and the Russians do not trust us. We have such holes when the product is delivered to us by land or by air flights. What kind of cargo it was because of which our citizens were killed? What is kept secret? We must find out," Omurbek Tekebayev stressed.
Cell phones, lighters and manuals in the Kyrgyz language have been found at the crash site.
Ways for smuggling
President of Manas Management JSC Asan Toktosunov told 24.kg news agency, which route the goods pass before getting out of the airport. The cargo terminal is one of the divisions of the company. It is responsible for loading and unloading of aircrafts (except passenger baggage).
- We have never unloaded it over the period of this flight existence. It is unclear why the charges of smuggling are addressed to the airport. It is known that the customs executes the cargo. Saying that there was a contraband aboard is like blaming a customer of theft of goods in a shop when he has not yet reached the cashier," Asan Toktosunov said. "Even if the cargo was to be unloaded, I have no doubt that it would have passed through customs."
As for manuals in the Kyrgyz language, I do not know how they got there. They could be thrown into the scene, or the owners of the houses had them. It is not excluded that the goods could turn out to be in Bishkek in the end.
-Please, explain ...
- There is no straight lines rule in logistics. There are geographical, political, economic, temporal indicators. For many years, we have organized transportation from the United Arab Emirates through the south-east of China to Kyrgyzstan. Yes, it is longer in time, but the receivers avoid problems with transportation by rail through transit countries.
- That is, it is possible that the cargo was flying from Hong Kong to Istanbul, and it could go back to Bishkek from there?
- There was the same flight from Hong Kong in October. Recipient is in Bishkek. The cargo was sent to Istanbul and then to us.
- Which company is responsible for the cargo?
- We will not know it now. But one of the charges said that 1.6 tons of goods were meant for Kyrgyzstan. Even if this was true, then it could not be left in Bishkek. The cargo is placed in a plane on pallets taking into account the alignment. One pallet places 2,500-3,000 kilograms. No one will unload the goods there to re-attach the rest of the goods on pallets. It's easier to send it to the biggest hub - Istanbul.
Boeing 747-400F modification allows flying 8,200 kilometers. The distance from Istanbul to Hong Kong is 8,000 kilometers. This is limiting distance. It is dangerous to perform such flights without refueling. The plane could not make one more approach or go to the alternate airport. Furthermore, we should take into account the amount of cargo on board.
- There has already been export of contraband case last year...
- That cargo was officially registered in the cargo terminal. The documents are stamped by the terminal, customs, which allows the export of the goods. After it, it is let out of the airport. We have been handed over all the documents. Then we are talking about false declaration, which has been drawn up at customs. Perhaps that is why the State Service for Economic Crimes Control opened a criminal case.
The State Customs Service told 24.kg news agency how it could pass contraband cargo. Several cargo planes landed on that day. In such cases, customs officers do not check each box thoroughly, and do it selectively.
According to the declaration, there have been transported consumer goods, and cell phones have been hid in them, which were not indicated in the documents. Exactly they are considered as contraband, but not all 45 tons of cargo.
But whether there was contraband in crashed Boeing? The owner of the goods did not show up for the sole reason that he will receive a good compensation from the airline. The aircraft was insured for a decent amount.
The Interstate Aviation Committee said that the data about the recipient was known, but the experts were not interested in them. The only thing that IAC voiced: the consignee is in Istanbul.
The temporary parliamentary commission and the public suspect that the aircraft transported the contraband. Information about cargo appeared in the media but the documents did not contain any information about a legal or natural person.
Consequently, the documents do not dissipate suspicions about the cargo, but only harden them.
The State Committee for National Security decided to clarify the situation after a long silence. The board performed by TK 6491 regular freight carriage along Hong Kong - Bishkek - Istanbul route with a technical landing (refueling and crew change) in Manas international airport. According to the cargo manifest, 76, 758 kilograms of cargo (household appliances, accessories for mobile phones, and so on) were aboard at the moment of crash with the ultimate carrying capacity of the plane of 116, 462 kilograms.
According to the materials of the check, 1,902 tones of the total volume of cargo (USB-lighters- electric lighters) have been ordered by JTI Kazakhstan LLC office in the Kyrgyz Republic and were intended for delivery from Hong Kong to Istanbul for further shipment to the recipient in Kyrgyzstan on January 19, 2017 by the flight with the number TK 6528 along Istanbul - Bishkek route.
As long as the goods are not taken out from the terminal without documents, it is incorrectly to call it smuggling. The more so that similar lighters have been already imported into the country by this company by this flight, and there were no doubts in the supplies.
The delivery documents say that the cargo was shipped from Hong Kong to Istanbul by TK 6491 flight. It flew to Bishkek by another flight and by Airbus 330.
It is too early to draw a line under this case. Investigation of the causes of the crash continues, the issue with the payment of compensation by the Turkish company - the owner of the aircraft - is not resolved. Surely, there will be new and interesting details about the cargo of Boeing 747.