‘Oh, I’ve found those 70 kilos of TNT in the woods’

A local resident in Chechnya is to be awarded $US 44,000 for handing over to authorities 74 kilograms of TNT. He said he found them by chance.

The turning in of explosives is a record this year, but far from being unique. Chechen authorities pay handsomely to people for voluntarily discarding weapons, and don’t ask too many questions. Sometimes people bring in a single load enough firearms for a small company.

In May 2008, a man brought Chechen police to a hidden cache with 170 mortar shells, four artillery gun shells, about a thousand detonators, a flamethrower, and a lot of rifle and pistol rounds.

In May 2006, a local resident delivered to authorities 340 shells for automatic cannon.

Since the programme started in 2004, hundreds of small arms, and tens of thousands of rounds have been delivered by Chechens. In 2006 alone, when the inflow of weapons peaked, the Interior Ministry paid more than $US 800,000 to people volunteering to discard them. The arsenal included 1,058 kilograms of explosives, 1,689 shells, 32 rocket launchers, including one piece made by a local workshop, 110 grenades, more than 150 small firearms, and a lot of munitions.

Arms pricelist

RIA Novosti news agency published a list of compensation that Chechen police pays for weapons delivered to them. Prices are in roubles, but we give their approximate translation into dollars for your convenience.

1. Pistols or revolvers – 6,000 ($180)

2. Automatic rifles – 8,000 ($235)

3. Attachment grenade launchers GP-25 and GP-30 – 10,000 ($300)

4. Degtyaryov-Shpagin large-calibre heavy machine guns DShK – 10,000 ($300)

5. Kalashnikov machine guns PK – 15,000 ($440)

6. Kalashnikov light machine guns RPK – 8,000 ($235)

7. RPG-7 grenade launchers – 20,000 ($590)

8. Disposable rocket launchers (RPG-18, 22, 26, 27) – 9,000 ($265)

9. SVD sniper rifles – 20,000 ($590)

10. SMGs – 20,000 ($590)

11. Hunting carbines – 6,000 ($180)

12. Smoothbore hunting firearms – 3,000 ($90)

13. Gas pistols and revolvers made in Russia – 1,000 ($30)

14. Imported gas pistols and revolvers made – 5,000 ($150)

15. Home-made pistols and revolvers – 1,000 ($30)

16. Home-made projectile weapons – 5,000 ($150)

17. Explosives (per gram) – 20 (60 cents)

18. Detonators (per unit) – 100 ($3)

19. Artillery shells – 3.000 ($90)

20. Self-propelled grenades for RPG – 1,500 ($45)

21. Guided anti-tank – 8.000 ($235)

22. Incendiary rocket launcher RPO-A – 8,000 ($235)

23. Grenades for AGS-17 grenade launcher – 300 ($9)

24. Hand grandees – 500 ($15)

25. Military engineer explosive charges – 2,000 ($600)

26. Calibre 5.45 mm munitions (per round) – 7 (20 cents)

27. Calibre 7.62 mm munitions (per round) – 10 (30 cents)

28. Munitions for other calibre firearms – 3 (9 cents)

29. Portable antiaircraft missiles (Strela, Igla, etc.) – 30,000 ($880)