by Gintaras Uosis
Domeikava, a small town in the suburbs of the city of Kaunas, has long been dubbed Little Sicily by locals. According to the testimony of Ms. S. Rakauskiene, the town’s retired police officer, Domeikava is a place where narcotic substances are freely produced. Strangers arriving to the town in unfamiliar vehicles are closely monitored by heavily-built young men.
Our reporter had a chance to experience this kind of attention during his visit to the infamous building No.20 on Neries Street. Several local ‘Sicilians’ waited at the entrance of the building for nearly five hours while ‘the intruder’ was inside, then escorted him to his car, checked the license plate information and immediately reported it to somebody over the phone.
The Beginning of the Detective ‘Movie’
It all started three years ago when a former policewoman S. Rakauskiene arrived at the Vilnius Police Department with a hope to find an official who could help her to (quote) “shut down the drug manufacturing facility in her building in Domeikava”. “I cannot breathe. An acrid smell lingers in my apartment. It is coming up from the apartment below mine where centrifuges are spinning continuously. I suspect that drugs may be manufactured in there”, stated the former police officer three years ago.
The Police Department officials, however, could not determine the cause of the acetone-and-gas-like odour at 20 Neries Street. “The poor lady must be suffering from hallucinations”, the informal conclusion was drawn. Especially that “none of the neighbours reported having ever smelled anything suspicious”. Ms. Rakauskiene is the only one “constantly unhappy”.
Consequently, Ms. Rakauskiene was left with no other choice but to ask the press for help. If the police officers are not doing their duty, maybe the journalists could help to reveal the mysteries of 20 Neries Street and clarify the cause of the terrible odour coming from the Apartment 11. Could the sound of spinning centrifuges really be just a hallucination of the retired police officer?
However, Ms. S.Ratkauskiene was let down once again. The mass media for some reason did not show any interest in the topic in question. “I was alone. A lone soldier against this terrible mafia of drug manufacturers”, the retired employee of the Ministry of Interior Affairs did not hide her disappointment. There really no reason for her to be happy, since due to the constant exposure to unidentified chemical substances the woman developed skin cancer.
“I am not the only one inhaling this awful substance. Other tenants of the building are breathing the same air, which means they can also get skin cancer any time”, the former policewoman deliberates upon the consequences of constant exposure to poisonous materials.
Yet, other residents of the building did not think that living in such conditions could cause skin cancer. When inquired by the policemen during their regular check following one more complaint by Ms. Rakauskiene, the tenants of the house stated that they did not smell anything abnormal.
In the meantime, to Ms. Rakauskiene herself the people of Little Sicily say “Put an end to these parasites and we will erect a monument in your tribute.”
According to the locals, Little Sicily did not get the nickname for no reason. Reportedly, nearly every garage in this little town is used for dismantling stolen vehicles, one residential facility is used for the production of amphetamine, another one for the distribution of heroine, and so the story goes. Hence, the production and distribution of drugs in Domeikava, could be considered a public secret.
Amphetamine? Or Maybe Heroine?
“There are two possibilities. Either amphetamine is produced here or heroine. Acrid smell is typically emitted in both cases”, stated the sources of information that did not want to be identified in the newspaper. According to some indications – chemical material tests conducted by Kaunas Public Health Center, which show high concentration of acetone – it is possible to conclude that amphetamine is produced there.
Meanwhile, other sources of the newspaper “Karstas Komentaras” that are well-familiar with the technologies of synthetic heroine production, having heard the comments about the strange odour and the spinning centrifuge, concluded that heroine could be produced. According to their knowledge, a certain hydro-essence is one of the ingredients in heroine production, and it smells so bad that it hardly possible to stay in the same building where the drug is produced.
Being one of the locals of Little Sicily, Ms. Rakauskiene is inclined to think that amphetamine is being made in the apartment below hers. “The police officers told me: “We will run some tests, and if we find acetone we will get them. It will be a sufficient evidence that drugs are produced in this facility. However, the tests were run, high concentration of acetone was detected, but in the end the police declared that my 25-year old furniture was emitting the acetone-like odour”, the retired police officer no longer knows how to react: laugh it all off or get upset.
The “ex-cop”, as the “Sicilians” often call her, has been keeping a diary for over three years, in which she registers all the suspicious activities of the neighbourhood. For example “On Friday, December 8, 2006 a carton box full of crystals was carefully moved from Apartment 11 to Apartment 12. What kind of crystals could that have been? I think that it was amphetamine”.
Finally, it is possible that in the apartment in question both amphetamine and heroin could be produced, as the bizarre odour coming out of it had changed several times.
Hope Died First
Having talked to most TV stations and newspapers, Ms. Rakauskiene remained hopeless to ever eliminate the dangerous smell from her apartment. Upon hearing complaints, the mass media seemed to start trying their best to avoid further contact with Ms. Rakauskiene.
Finally, a reporter from the daily paper ‘Kauno Diena’ (‘Kaunas Today’) wrote an article on the suspicions of the former police officer and described the alleged drug factory in her building. The outcome, however, was just like one could easily predict in the corrupted Lithuania: the acrid odour continues coming out of the suspicious apartment and the centrifuges keep on spinning around the clock. Only the owners of the apartment became more careful and established several watch posts around the house.
Reporter of “Karstas Komentaras” Stalked on Site
To tell the truth, we also found S. Rakauskiene’s story rather hard to believe. According to her, narcotic substances had been manufactured in her neighbours’ apartment for more than three years, while the police led by Vytautas Grigaravicius, the Lithuanian ‘commissar Corado Catani’, took no action to close down this drug factory?!
“What a nonsense” thought “Karstas Komentaras” and decided to go to Domeikava and make sure Ms. Rakauskiene was not seeing visions.
On Saturday, April 14, 2007, a reporter of “Karstas Komentaras” went to Little Sicily (i.e. Domeikava) without former notice and paid a call on Ms. Rakauskiene’s bizzar- smelling residence.
“That place is truly a Little Sicily” concluded the reporter of “Karstas Komentaras” after the visit. At the entrance to Ms. Rakauskiene’s residence he was met by two young men who stayed outside and closely watched the building for almost five hours while the reporter was inside. The men later escorted him the nearby parking lot and made a quick phone call to report, and possibly verify, Mr. Rakauskiene’s visitor’s license plate data. After seeing the ‘intruder’ off, the two ‘guardian angels’ went back to the same building, 20 Neries Street.
A few days later, on Monday, our reporter was blackmailed: if the article on drug production were published, his son’s and his own vehicles would be blown up. Several questions arise: why threaten the reporter of “Karstas Komentaras” and his family, if nothing bad was happening at 20 Neries Street? What sort of backup and in which organizations must the Sicilians of Domeikava have to be able to find out the identity of Ms. Rakauskiene’s visitor in less than 24 hours? What database one must have access to in order to trace down all the information about the owner of the vehicle and his family having just his license place number?
There is no doubt that the nest of evil can be within the Lithuanian Police.
Drug Trade: Exclusive Business of Police Agents
“Karstas komentaras” once again proved its initial hypothesis: the trade of drugs in Lithuania is strictly controlled by high-ranking officials. The production and distribution is permitted only to those willing to cooperate with the police. The remaining potential traders are eliminated from the market by detention, trials and long-term imprisonment.
The story presented in this article allows making such an assumption. Three years ago, when the new buzzing sound in the neighbouring apartment and and the weird odour all over the residential building at 20 Neries Street prompted the first Ms.Rakauskiene’s call on the Kaunas District Criminal Police Office, she received a warm welcome from Mr. R. Muliuolis, the Head of the Criminal police department. Ms. Rakauskiene was asked to follow and register all the suspicious visitors and occurrences at 20 Neries Street. The retired policewoman kept on performing the duties of the criminal police for half a year. Later on, when the data she had gathered was passed on to Mr. Maliuolis, Ms. Rakauskiene became no longer useful to the police, as at that point they ‘took over the investigation’.
It has been three years since the investigation started, but still there is no news.
Therefore, here comes the conclusion. After Ms. Rakauskiene found out the truth, the police offered a deal to the drug producers: we provide you the cover in return for a kick back. Could that be the reason why the investigation based on Ms. Rakauskiene’s data has been taking so long?
This is a version easy to believe, especially as during an unofficial chat some Kaunas police officers stated that there is an unannounced state policy in regards to drug production. Maintaining these narcotic shops in a way does the work of the nation cleansing: the smart ones would neither purchase nor consume drugs, while the stupid individuals will buy them, consume them, and eventually die off.
“There are two of such sites in Panemune”, almost incidentally mentioned another former officer.
There is really not much say, as such policies rather closely resemble fascism.
Consequently, one should not be surprised that it is nearly impossible to close down the drug shop in Domeikava, and that the complaints of Ms. Rakauskiene simply do not really get the attention of the police or the public prosecutor. The officers are simply complying with the policy of the state. There is no reason to go against the flow and start closing down drug factories.
Field Methods: Resident Survey
Having worked for the Soviet militia, later a police officer in the independent Lithuania, Ms. Rakauskiene was well aware of the methods used by the police to catch criminals. Therefore, after getting suspicious about drug production in her own house, Ms. Rakauskiene contacted the Head of Kaunas District Police, Mr. Sestakovas, and asked him to take field measures in order to unfold the criminal activities.
Some of the field measures include phone call monitoring, surveillance, installations of audio and video recording equipment on site (as, for instance, it had been previously done in the headquarters of the Labour Party). Thus, based on the suspicion that narcotic substances are produced at 20 Neries Street, surveillance equipment should have been immediately installed. Especially when there also was the strong odour spreading throughout the building from the apartment in question, which led to the assumption about the possibility of drug production.
The officers, however, have not taken any similar. What they did looked more like a joke than a serious investigation. Namely, they conducted an interview with the suspects, during which they asked: “Are you making drugs in your flat?” Do doubt the answer was “Of course not! We are not producing any drugs!”
After the interview, the suspicious sounds disappeared from the apartment and in a about a week the odour also dissipated. At that time a group of police officers arrived to inspect the apartment. Naturally, they found nothing suspicious, and the complaint of Ms. Rakauskiene was found to have no grounds.
Meanwhile the reporter of “Karstas Komentaras” paid an unexpected visit to the above-mentioned residence on April 14, 2007 and immediately sensed the sharp smell of acetone. After having stayed in Ms. Rakauskiene’s apartment for about five hours, reporter’s eyes became red and irritated, his nose and throat started aching. Eye irritation has seized only five days later, and his nose was aching few more days . In comparison, try to imagine the health condition of Ms. Rakauskiene, who has been living under these circumstances for nearly three years.
So, who is responsible for the numerous health problems, especially the skin cancer, caused by living in the environment full of dangerous chemical substances?
Ms. Rakauskiene to Mental Institution
The case of Ms. Rakauskiene once again proved that Lithuania is a country of criminals and is still very far from the true democracy.
Being unable to resolve the matter in the Kaunas Police Office, Ms. Rakauskiene attempted to meet the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Raimundas Sukys. However, the the audience was denied.
Then Ms. Rakauskiene whote a formal letter to the Minister. The letter was officially received and stamped by the reception of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on August 24, 2006. Ms. Rakauskiene hoped that the newly-elected Minister would be the man of pinciple and high morals, an accomplished lawyer, who would surely resolve the problem of the suspicious odours in her house.
“My neighbours from the apartment right below mine are constantly producing susbtances which I suspect to be psychotropic, as I can constantly smell repugnant mixture of gas and chemicals. The vapors emited during the manufacturing processes, as well as smut, rise to my floor straight into my apartment. This makes me feel constantly sick, causes continuous headaches and throataches. My living conditions are abnormal, and this eventually led me to the skin cancer”.
“I made a big mistake by attentioning my compaint to the Police Department of Domeikava and the Kaunas Police Office. I believed the officers to be honest. I am now assured that this illegal activity is conducted with the blessing of the police. For example, just before the deadline to answer my complaint, several police officers came to inspect Apartment 11. However, one or two days before the inspection, unusual activities took place in that apartment: things were moved around in a loud manner, something was removed and transported and the apartment itself was thoroughly cleaned and aired.”
“This is when I understood that “visitors” were expected. Naturally, the policemen could not find andything. To tell the truth, they probably did not even for anything at all. The only purpose of the visit was to demonstrate that the inspection took place”.
“Having lost all hopes, I am addressing you with a lonely woman’s plea for help. Can it be possible that there are no more honorable and profecional officers left in the entire Ministry of Internal Afairs, who could take measures to unravel the illegal drug production activities and put the criminals to justice”.
This was the excerpt from Ms. Rakauskiene’s letter to the Minister of Internal afairs, Mr. R. Šukys.
Th answer that Ms. Rakauskiene received caused her to faint: within less than a month after the complaint to the minister, on September 22, 2006, the Kaunas Public Prosecutor Jolanta Laurinaviciute made a decion to schedule Ms. Rakauskiene for a mental health exam in order to determine whether the former police officer complaining about illegal drug production was not affected by a some sort of mental illness. The exam was supposed to take place in the Psychiatric Hospital of Ziegzdriai.
Well, there you go! If you cannot live with the suspicious sickening odours coming from the neghbours’ apartment, we will cure you in a psychiatric hospital because everyone knows that the odours are simply the fruit of your imagination. Just like KGB.
Luckily, Ms. Rakauskiene was not the only one sensing the odour. So did her attorney and the bailiff of the court when visiting her regarding the complaints, and finally also the reporter of “Karstas Komentaras”. Should they also be sent to the Psychiatric Hospital in Ziegzdriai?
We hope not. Ms. Rakauskienie was not taken to the hospital either. The court has eventually voided the rulling of the Public Prosecutor.
Drug Production Sites Not to Be Touched
Ms. Rakauskiene’s case is far from unique. Both Kaunas and Vilnius police forces cannot smell acrid acetone odours comming out of apartments, inspite of the fact that acetone is one of the amphetamine ingreditents.
On February 21, 2007, the member of Seimas Julius Veselka sent a letter to the Head of the Police Vytautas Grigaravicius asking to investigate the complaint by Ana Rutkovskaja who indicated another narcotic production site. “The lady visited all sorts of institutions, but no one wants to take any action. Maybe the police will exterminate these narcotic factories?” This was an excerpt from Mr. Veselka’s letter to Mr. Grigaravicius.
Two days later, on February 23, 2007, Mr. Veselka received a brief response from Ms. Tauginienė, the Head of Common Inquiries Section of the Police Department. The note said that the complaint by Ms. Rutkovskaja had been forwarded to the Vilnius Police Department, and Mr. Veselka would be informed about the results of the investigation.
At the end of April 2007 Mr. Veselka had not yet received any communication from the officers of Vilnius Police Office.
Maybe some time in the future the officers of the Vilnius Police Office will inform Mr. Veselka about the progress of the investigation, however we can already guess the content of the reply: “Ms. Rutkovskaja’s complaint regarding drug production is not confirmed”. This would be consistent with the complaint by Eleonora and Vytautas Sironai regarding a narcotic factory at 43 Naugardukas Street where suspicious odour are also comming from the neighbours’ apartment. By the way, when the same bizzar smell was spreading from another block of the same building, it was quickly eliminated because one of the tennants was closely related to Ceslovas Jursenas, the Vice-Chairman of the Lithuanian Parliament.
In the meantime, Eleonora and Vytautas Sironai are only ordinary citizens of Lithuania who are remembered only once in four years, during the elections. Whereas the time intervals between the elections may be used to perform some cleansing among the regular citizens. It is likely that the retired teacher Mrs. Sironienė may also have skin cancer, while Ms. Rakauskiene, who has been living sourounded by the suspicious substances for three years has already been diagnosed positive.
Such is our criminal Lithuania where genocide is taking place in a broad daylight and not a single institution or government official take a step to stop the poisoning of the nation.