Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Russian (actually Tashkent) fugitive
A muscular man in jeans and a t-shirt stood next to the sink in a toilet, in the Moscow International Airport. He had a smirk on his face. Next to him, an even bigger man in a black leather jacket grunted. T-shirt shrugged, and held up his hands - wet, and held by handcuffs. He seemed to be saying, “Look, I cannot dry my hands with these handcuffs on.” Black Leather Jacket grunted again, pulled a paper towel from the dispenser and handed it to T-shirt. A shorter and smaller guy, with a Band-Aid on his right cheek stood facing them, watched as T-shirt wiped his hands.
The trio walked out of the toilet. Black Leather Jacket ushered T-shirt into departure gate number 4.
Band-Aid stopped short outside the gate. Black Leather Jacket and T-shirt bypassed the people waiting in line, and disappeared into the walkway leading to the place. The monitor indicated that the plane at gate 4 would depart for Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is a country in central Asia, close to Xinjiang of China and to the north of Afghanistan. Alexander the Great reached here. It became prosperous when the Silk Route passed through here. It was conquered by the Arabs in the 8th century and became Islamic. It was conquered by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Later Timur ruled a great empire from here starting in the late 14th century. It was absorbed into the Soviet Union in the 1920s, and declared independence in 1991. It had a chequered and violent history.
According to a retired policeman that we were traveling with, T-shirt was most likely a fugitive from Uzbekistan. And Black Leather Jacket a policeman from Uzbekistan who was taking T-shirt back to Uzbekistan for trial. Band-Aid was either a Russian policeman, or T-shirt’s accomplice. I was in the toilet and later outside gate 4, but was too nervous to take a photograph of them. All I got was a photo of the gate, and the monitor.