Speculator Sentenced To Be Shot

P. Barashev, A Case Is Heard: Not Subject To Appeal!. February 18, 1972

 

Original Source: Pravda, 18 February 1972, p. 6.

Tashkent and Moscow – … The Tashkent base of the Cooperative Wholesale and Mail Order House is an inter-republic base, serving the rural trade of Uzbekistan, Turkmenia, Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan and a number of provinces of Kazakhstan. In addition, the base sends out the items won in lotteries. Its work covers a huge territory, and the base handles a considerable amount of goods. Pilferers took advantage of these circumstances …

Rugs, woolen kerchiefs, embroidery thread, silks, beads and other items are in great demand in Central Asia. Knowing this, officials of the base took bribes from store directors for each item they supplied the stores. For example: For a single Pavlovskii-Posad kerchief they demanded two to five rubles over and above the price. The thieves reckoned with seasonal demand. The pilfering formula then went as follows: The director of the store had to find somewhere to get each five-ruble note left at the base and himself get as least as much again. He could not take the 10 “lost” rubles as he stood behind the counter; that would be risky. So most of the goods were sold to speculators, who in turn also added their bite to the price. The result was that the consumer paid triple for the item …

This “collective” had its own conception of honesty. Before hiring this or that rogue, director Nurmukhamedov would invite him into his office and demand a bribe. The job of warehouse chief, for example, cost 5, 000 rubles. And when he hired a new man, the director, in the presence of a third party, used to force the new employee to swear on a wafer: “Break this wafer and swear by this bread that you will not deceive me, but will turn over to me half of the take. ”

For the uninitiated, let us recall that by Moslem custom an oath taken on a wafer of bread is as sacred as an oath sworn on the Koran …

The head of the gang kept strict records of the bribes. The investigators’ case charged and the court trial proved that during 1969 Nurmukhamedov received from R. Gaziyev, chief of Warehouse No. 2, alone: 325 rubles in January; 1, 000 in February; 550 in March; 140 in April; 220 in May; 175 in June; 890 in July; 1, 160 in August; 835 in September; 970 in October –

At that point the record broke off, for Nurmukhamedov was arrested …

Theft of 366, 000 rubles of the people’s money through bribes and swindling was proved. Of this sum, Nurmukhamedov stole more than 130, 000 rubles …

The sentence was pronounced. Final and not subject to appeal. Ismail Nurmukhamedov, head of the gang of bribe-takers and speculators, was sentenced to the supreme penalty, death by shooting. Other participants in the crime were sentenced to long terms in strict-regime colonies, with confiscation of the property they had stolen …

Source: Current Digest of the Soviet Press. Vol. XXIV, No. 7/15 (1972)

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