I have heard quite many stories about “lovely” police in Kyrgyzstan respective Bishkek and their “Police scams”, but I never thought that one day I would experience it by myself. Now I think that it is quite funny story which describe how Bishkek police cops tried to rob me. True when it happened I didn’t laugh much.
All days I have spent in the country I took care not to come in contact with the police. I tried all my best to avoid personal or eye contact as both could call for trouble. I managed till my last day in Bishkek when I went to bus station find out how I get to my next destination. I had my MP3 player on and suddenly to my surprise somebody from back hold my arm and push me to stop. I turned and there were two cops when one of them was screaming at me that I tried to run away from him. Even I understood what he is saying I pretended stupid tourist who doesn’t understand single word. He asked for passport so I gave him photocopy. They didn’t like it but I didn’t care and told them that if they wants more than we can go to my hostel (I made mistake here as I said it in Russian). They got very angry that I can communicate in Russian. Anyway I decided not to care what they want turned back and was ready to leave. When I turned there were already two more cops. They catch me and said that I have to go with them to the police station because I look like drug dealer. I didn’t want get out of public so I tried to get rid of them firstly asking passing by people for help me but nobody cared and people rather turned on the other side.
When we got to the police station (shitty dark place with table behind entrance door and two jails where was an guy who was all the time something screaming) they asked me to give them my photo backpack that they will control all stuff I have inside and then I can go. Discussion about reasons why I should do it and attempt to run away didn’t help so I had no choice. They carefully opened all pockets like there is a bomb, looked at all pics in camera and from time to time they tried to circulate my stuff around the ”office”. Between that they did everything for losing my concentration. I didn’t like one of the cops more than others. He was all the time screaming that I wanted to run away and I deal the drugs that they should look at my veins because he saw me to take the drugs and so on.
When I thought that they are done and I survived they decided to scan my body. Of course they found money belt (thing for which they were looking for). They took out everything what was in-side and start to circulate around the room. At this point saw one of the cops that he took one hundred dollars to his hand and stop to care about the rest. Suddenly they gave me all my stuff back and told me that I am free man. First I packed all my stuff back in to the bag and when I was sure I have all safely packed I asked for that hundred dollar bill they took. All of them said that they don’t know what I am talking about so I have described what one of them did and where the bill is (now already under his shoe). Approximately after half an hour of arguing and at the end also screaming at each other when I called them thieves and some other not very nice names I decided to ask for translator, their boss and pretended to call my embassy. Within five minutes came in their boss asked what happen and then said them something in Kyrgyz(so far they spoke only in Russian what was my advantage). Suddenly they gave me my money and let me go.
For sure I was quite lucky that they were interested only in the money, that I could speak Russian and that I had idea with calling my embassy (even that I don’t think they would somehow help me). Even thou this experience I can’t say bad word about Kyrgyzstan. They have beautiful nature and very friendly people…