Documents. Various documents. Stories. Poems. Prose. How-To's.
How-Not-To's. Technical. Reference. Hacking. Phreaking. Home-Made-Whatever's.
You-Name-It. Men In Black Suits. Silent Helicopters. Satellite Surveillance.
Fear and Loathing.
The documents in here were written by Kim (http://www.carsena-tech.net).
Couple years back, Kim used to write a monthly article for a US West
Coast based E-Zine called "Generator 21" (http://www.g21.net)
Please note that these documents are subject to international
copyright agreements and laws. The copyright is with the author.
Please obtain permission from author before reproducing any of these
FOR YOUR AMAZING READING PLEASURE
The Old Hand. "We Always Get Our Man"
Do you know what thats like? The staring match, the "Old Pro" staring
at the suspect, eye-to-eye. You - feeling the sweat rising, wishing to hell it
Him never missing a beat, never blinking, just staring and watching and waiting for
that little bit of sweat above the eyebrows. The little silver bead trickling down the
eyelid to the nose that tells the old dude - "yup, we got us a live one here for
So I stood. And stared back unblinking. But I could feel the sweat rising. Damn it!
"Get it under control mate" I said to myself. "Your on top of this one
pal". But this guy, this old pro was just sitting it out. Shit! I just had to catch a
professional on the bloody job on this day of all fucking days!
Usually the customs isles at this particular airport in this particular
English-speaking country were staffed by newbies, greenies, sticks
new and trainee
customs staff. Young men and women fresh out of college, entering a career in the good old
Public Service. Dedicated young professionals, but green as hell under the collar. A
serious smuggler could walk right past one of them with a Boeing 747 stuffed under his or
her T-shirt without too much trouble.
But today, for whatever reason, whatever twist of fate, there was an old-hand sitting
in with them on the end counter of the customs-check isles. The end counter - the
"Red" counter. Where you go if you declare something. Where you are taken if you
are under suspicion of carrying what some law somewhere calls "contraband". The
old-hand just sat and watched.
From the end of the queue of arriving passengers that I stood in, I had been
surreptitiously watching him as he watched everything. I could see him, now and then
leaning over to give a hint to the young customs officers. I could see him moving his
face, pointing at his face with his hands, telling them how to watch out for "the
sweats" and which type of sweat to watch for. I could see him telling them. I could
see him pulling his collar, scratching the back of his neck, fiddling with his ear,
looking around himself vacantly.
Damn it! I could see him showing them, teaching them the trick of using and/or reading
body-language - a trick I too was expert in. Id learnt from experts. It was a trick
I had up my sleeve to get me out the door today.
I had not anticipated the opposing team having an "old-hand" on tap giving
them bloody lessons in the very shit I was trying to use to get out the door with 5
kilograms of high-grade Nepalese Black Hashish concealed in a plastic-welded, airtight
cavity in my Samsonite suitcase.
So much for having a "guilt-free" appearance of confidence. This guy was
going to cut at it like a damned grim reaper. But I felt sure Id beat him at this
game. I felt quite sure.
One thing nagged at me now. A few moments ago theyd run a
"drug-sniffer" dog up and down the row of arriving passengers. Just a casual
check. Nothing fancy. I watched as the dog approached. Nice looking dog, friendly looking
handler. I was not the least bit concerned.
I knew my job and I knew how to make luggage with concealed compartments that were
quite simply airtight and easily passed the sniffers. Id already seen this case get
sniffed twice. No problems. And nothing in my cabin-bag. Nothing in my pockets - look,
nothing up my sleeves. I was as good as clean
I stood and watched the oncoming dog. The dog looked at me. The dog walked up to me.
The dog stopped, sat with a wagging tail, bent over, sniffed my cabin-bag and let out a
short, sharp bark. "Woof" he said, looking at me stupidly and wagging his tail
as if I was about to give him a freaking bone. Not real loud. Just "woof". A
little, short, sharp noise. Kind of reminded me of the sound of a silenced .38.
Then the handler just came up, smiled at me and said "excuse me Sir, Jacks a
little bit excited today". And with that he pulled on the "Jacks"
lead and they both went back about their duties. Nothing there, nothing to worry about.
Like he said, "Jack" was a bit excited today is all.
But now I stood watching the old-hand. And my line got shorter. Two things. Nothing to
worry about. A dog that got excited about nothing. An old-hand teaching the new kids. Two
things. I started to get an ill-feeling but put an end to that immediately. Ill-feelings
have big flags.
I passed by the passport control counter and the guy grunted at me as he stamped my
passport. He did not look up at me, did not look up at his computer, did not look up from
his hands and the passport he was stamping. I should have known then, in the back of my
mind I guess I did know - but what could I do about it now anyway?. He should have looked
at his computer screen.
He MUST look at his computer screen to see if any outstanding stuff is up there about a
particular passenger. He knew. He already knew. The dog-handler had already reported in,
The Machine had fired up. Had I looked up I would have noticed 3 sets of ceiling-mounted
video cameras very carefully following every move I made. I didnt look. Too late now
As I walked away from passport control, I was thinking "why didnt he check
his screen?". I should not have thought that. You have to play it to the very end.
And it was not over yet. I should not have let those thoughts pass my through my conscious
mind at all. Id slipped. I was approaching the "green" counter now.
Nothing to declare, thats me sir.
The customs officer at that counter said "Im sorry sir, could you please go
down to the red counter". It was not a question. "Why? I havent got
anything here to declare mate" I said. "I can see that on your form mate, will
you please go down to the red counter?" said the officer.
I looked down the way, down to the "red counter". Sounded like a seat in
Beelzebubs joint. The Red Counter. And at the red counter sat the dreaded Old-Hand.
And he sat there doing nothing but one thing - staring right at me. He pointed his finger
at me. Then he curled it back and waved me over.
I walked, brimming in innocent confidence, right up to him and said "what seems to
be the matter officer?" with a firm tone and a steady glance. "The dog son. The
dog picked up a positive scent on your cabin-bag there" said the old man, pointing at
the bag hanging from my shoulder. "A scent of what?" I asked.
"The dog gave a positive on cannabis and/or hashish son. You have cannabis or
hashish or both in that cabin-bag you are carrying right there. Now put in on the counter
and lets see what you have there shall we?" he said.
I was a little confused. There was nothing in my cabin-bag and I knew it. I was in fact
carrying 5 kilograms. But not in my cabin-bag but in the suitcase sitting right there on
the trolley that Id picked up on the carousel. The dogs from arse-hole to breakfast
and back had already sniffed that suitcase many times. Nepal, Burma, Thailand. All their
dogs had sniffed it. No dog had picked it up though.
Now the dog and handler walked back over. A small crowd of customs officers had
gathered to watch the slaughter. The handler ran the dog over all my luggage on the
trolley. A suitcase, a back-pack, a large travel-bag and a guitar-case. Zero.
The handler brought the dog over to the counter where I had the cabin-bag open and
Bingo! The dog set up to howling and barking and running around in circles chasing its own
tail until the handler gave him the pacifier - usually a small chunk of candy or some
other sweet thing.
The old man said "OK son, stop playing around. Where is it hidden?".
"Look" I said, "you have the bag the dog has detected right there in front
of you. Rip it to pieces if you bloody want to mate, I dont mind".
"Lets take a look at your suitcase and that other stuff shall we?" he
said. "Sure thing" said I.
The case hit the counter with a loud thud. It was heavy, packed with wooden carvings,
snake-skins, Gurkha knives, human skulls. All the usual things that you bring back from
the mountains with you. The customs guys didnt like the human skull. They
confiscated that on the grounds that itd have bugs in it. I was hoping that would
keep them happy. That was the idea of the skull really.
The old hand had stepped back and just watched. The younger officers were finishing
searching the case. He was watching me carefully, I could see that in my peripheral
vision. I was under control. I had the situation fixed. I was safe, I could feel it. The
younger officer put the last of my things back in the case. He looked up and said "do
you want me to lock the case sir?".
The next two seconds seemed to me to last for a year. As I looked over and said
"yeah, thanks" to the young officer a tiny breath of relief went right through
me like a cool breeze. I could feel it, tingling down my back. I knew it, I knew you could
see it. Immediately the sweat started. In that instance I knew in my heart that Id
blown it completely and totally.
The old hand sat, and watched, and saw my little cool breeze, caught that glimpse of
sudden relief. My eyes met his, his met mine. Id blown it.
We stared. He knew, hed seen it, seen the relief. He stared. The bead of sweat,
just one little, tiny, silver bug of liquid, spilled off my brow and onto the bridge of my
nose, then on down the nose in a thin trickle. The penny dropped. That bead of sweat lost
me the whole game.
Two seconds had passed. It seemed like years.
The old hand smiled. "Stop" he said to the young officer who was about to
shut the case. "Leave that open" he said, "let me take a look at it
again". He walked back over to the case, picked it up by one end and tipped the whole
contents back onto the counter.
He kept holding the edge hed picked the case up by. Looking at me he made the
movements of weighing the case. His eyes went up to the ceiling (where you keep numbers in
your head apparently, names you keep below). His eyes went down to the floor (like I said,
where you keep names).
He looked at me and said "you know, this is damned heavy for a plastic suitcase,
what is it? Reinforced or something?" I looked at him and said "yeah, what? What
are you saying? What do you want?". "We want to know firstly what is in this
suitcase that appears to be empty but is not, and secondly we want to know where the
fucking hell in this suitcase is whatever the fuck it is you are hiding from us here and
now you little shithead!"
He had become quite suddenly angry. "You are busted my son, do you know that,
busted you little shit". I jumped back, a little shocked at the anger he was showing.
"Hey, dont come on so heavy man, whats the problem with you anyway?"
I said, "You know you got me, I know it too, so whats the big deal? Im
carrying already, OK? Guilty, OK? Now get off my case!". I too was getting a little
hot under the collar by now. Just a little.
He dropped the case back onto the counter and said "The big deal is this. If that
is heroin you have in there you are going to go inside for so fucking long it aint
funny no more, you understand me son?". "Yeah, I understand and Its not
heroin in there anyway, OK?".
I later found out that his daughter was in serious trouble with a heavy addiction to
heroin - hence this old professionals reaction to the possibility that I was a low-down
heroin smuggler. Which I aint and never, ever will be. I have had friends die in my
very arms on that shit. Ive had friends steal everything they could from me to pay
for their smack. I dont do heroin - for business or for pleasure and I have no
problem with governments who hang heroin smugglers.
No, I smuggled Hashish - the Prince of Drugs. The "savior". Best damned drug
in the world. No hangover, no addiction, no psychosis in normal humans. "Gods
Gift" Ive heard it referred to as.
"What have you got in there then son? Grass? Gold bars? Live lizards? What?"
said the old hand. "Hashish" I said, "about 5 kilos of Nepalese
Black". He raised his eyebrows and said "Well just see then shall we? If
its hash, Im not really even interested."
He grabbed the bag and took it over to a set of scales to weigh it. Looking back over
his shoulder and indicating 3 federal police standing over by a door he said "But
those federal agents over there will be real interested, thats for sure".
The feds heard this and one of them broke away from the group, came over to me an very
politely introduced himself as Senior Detective Carson of the Federal Police Drug Squad.
He indicated his two friends, told me their names and ranks then said "So, you reckon
its just hash you got there eh?". He looked a little bored and frustrated, like
hed just missed a great highway car pile-up. Or a good, big bust. I could see these
boys had been waiting to do a big heroin bust, get that big star on the report card.
"Hash is going to give you some time in all the same, you know that do you?"
the fed said. "Yeah, I know that" I replied. He took out a cigarette, offered me
one, I took it. Lighting his and my cigarettes he said "Not as bad as smack, but
still you could do up to 8 years or so, unless you cooperate with us and tell us who your
contacts here are. Shit mate, 5 kilograms of hash, whyd you do that mate? Who set
this one up for you?". He said.
"Oh come on" I replied, "this is a one-off, if you guys are out today
fishing for the organized crime Mafia connection guy, you are really in the wrong pond
mate.". I took a long draw on my cigarette, "I work alone, always have, always
will. There is nobody here to pick me up. There are no contacts here. There are no contact
there. I purchased from a taxi-driver I vaguely knew from a previous visit to Nepal."
"OK, well see about that later when we interview you properly, for now come
over and help these customs idiots here. They cant seem to find the concealment
youve created in that suitcase", said the fed.
We both walked over to another counter in the corner where three young customs officers
were looking over the suitcase, trying to find the seam or the join. There wasnt
one. They needed me. They could not find the join. I started to show them were the hidden
secrets were but one of the officers said "hang on, not here in public. We dont
want the stuff falling out over the floor here mate". "OK" I replied. The
young officer gestured with his hand at another officer. "Over here, take him and the
case to interview room five. Get the people from forensics up here too, they need to take
a look at this" he ordered.
The younger officer looked at me and said "cmon mate, lets go
now". We walked over to a doorway and through that into a corridor beyond. Door to
interview rooms lined the corridor and we made our way to the door marked "5".
Inside was a large interview desk and chairs with recording equipment, a large white
examination table and the compulsory "interview room" lamp stood in another
One of the officers came in and placed the empty suitcase on the table. Two more young
customs officers came in and sat on chairs. The old-hand had gone. The three feds all
walked in and sat down, the one who had spoken to me indicating to me to sit down also. I
sat down and immediately got up again as the customs officers collectively said "get
him over here, we cant open this thing". I walked over and simply unclipped the
aluminum trim from around the inside of the case.
I indicated to one officer that I needed to use a screwdriver I could see he had in a
tool-case. He looked over at the feds, asking with his eyes "can we give this guy
this weapon". The feds nodded back in approval. He handed me the screwdriver and I
proceeded to scratch hard at a certain spot where Id intentionally undermined the
strength of the plastic-weld to allow me to access the join easily and disassemble the
case without damaging it too much. I liked the case. I wanted to keep it.
The case was a work of art. Pure and simple, art. It had taken myself and a young
Nepalese friend all of three full days of work to build it and load it with the Hashish. I
had taken a set of miniature electric tools over with me for the job. A jigsaw, a sander,
a drill, a polisher and grinder. Those tools, six tubes of silicon purchased in Kathmandu,
some black plastic-weld strips Id brought along.
The biggest job was getting the hash itself into the right shape and form to fit into
the false bottom. A whole day of cutting and kneading the sticky, black resin.
Before leaving for Nepal Id purchased two identical top-of-the-line Samsonite
suitcases. The bottom cut carefully out of one and fitted with minute bevels and joins
into the bottom of the other. For the clean run into Nepal, simply loaded with some boards
of timber and no silicon to seal it. Even that passed detection all the way in.
Disassembled in Kathmandu and loaded with the specially shaped hashish embedded in many
layers of silicon, the whole case reassembled and the joins closed with plastic-weld. The
joins then ground clean and polished to the point of total invisibility. The aluminum trim
around the inside edges of the case would throw up interference against X-ray and conceal
the joins under even that level of scrutiny.
Between each and every stage of the whole reassembly; soap and hot water, a thorough
wash down of the hands and body and new, clean clothes; the dirty clothes disposed of.
A lot of care and work went into that case. And now I was peeling it open with a
screwdriver like some piece of fruit, showing its illegal-smile type contents to the
gathered officialdom and police.
They were impressed. "Best concealment Ive ever seen" they said.
"Damned clever of you " they said. "Neat work son, very neat" they
said. "Youre busted and going to jail now" they said.
I stared down at the 5 kilograms of hashish in the bottom of the case, wrapped in its
multi-layer silicon coating. I stared at the hashish in the case and for some reason,
right then and there I remembered another lump of hashish. A much smaller one. A nice,
neat, little block of black Id been carrying around in my bag in Kathmandu. No
wrapping, no box, just a raw lump of hash bouncing around in my bag.
"Oh god" I thought as I stood there staring at the hash in the suitcase. The
bloody hash I had in Kathmandu! In the bag! No wrapper! Oh shit, the same bag. The fucking
cabin-bag goddamnit! Thats what the dog sniffed. That is what brought me unstuck.
The hash had rubbed off onto the inside of my cabin-bag four weeks ago. The same bag the
dog sniffed. By god those dogs can sure sniff something up, cant they?
Later I sat in the car, headed for the Federal Police building in the city. After
several hours of interview Id convinced them (seemingly) that I worked alone and
there was nobody else for them to worry about. Id also convinced them that there was
not a name in the world I could (or would) give them.
The feds treated me with a great deal of respect. Tried to frighten the shit out of me
a few times, but just in fun. Fun? While you are getting busted? Fun? When you know you
are doing the "Go To Jail - Do Not Pass Go - Do Not Collect $250"
routine? Fun? Sure
fun! And so was jail. Christ! Never had so much fun in all my
life as I had in jail. And it was a long time in too.
You can have fun in a dark, deep, wet hole if you really want to. Just a state of mind,
thats all. I think its called "stupid"?
I did my time inside. Not too long, just enough. Paid for my crime. Got cured of my
criminal tendencies completely! No bullshit! (just ask the Warden) And the suitcase now?
Its up in the Federal Police Museum. The hashish? Back on the street Id
imagine, as usual. And me?
Ended up in
well thats another story.
A story of the cannibal island
A story of what few blessings life has to offer us. Count 'em
Buffalo fighting on Koh Samui in Thailand
to hear something really scary?
Cannibals? Sure, in Fiji there are, maybe.Shit, it tasted
just like pickled pork anyway!
Chopper runs in Bangkok
Elephants in Bangkok (no they were not pink and yes I was sober.
More or less sober that is.)
"Hey nice T-Shirt dude!". Full moon parties on Koh Phangaan
The Hash House Harriers strike again! This time it's "champagne
Mate of mine got his head smashed in by some soccer hooligans on
Mornings in Bangkok. On the way to work
PCs in the tropics
Advice for the owners of PCs in tropical regions
Search About Thomas
SEX1 Ah. The "sex"
topic. By request, I wrote about Thailand's reputed "sex industry".
And you think the traffic is bad in Bangkok? Try Samui!
How to survive in the tropics. This IS funny.
Times change. Sure they do, but it pissed Joey right off this time!
Finally, the chopper run!
in Thailand are a serious trip dudes!
troppo mate! Totally!
Like it says, up-country in Thailand on a small-ish motorcycle
of one's own desires
END OF LIST