The Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan has declared three people on the international wanted list, allegedly involved in the illegal transportation of weapons and military equipment to Nagorno-Karabakh. Among the wanted are the head of the Union of Armenians of Russia Ara Abrahamyan, as well as the head of the Tashir group of companies Samvel Karapetyan and the head of the Royalsys Engineering company David Galustyan.
In a press release, the department says that those wanted during 2001-2021 “organized the smuggling of illegally acquired large-caliber military firearms, ammunition, explosives and devices.” Weapons and equipment were imported to Armenia, and from there to Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions of Azerbaijan. According to the prosecutor’s office, the smuggling was carried out by air – with the help of passenger airliners, an Il-76 cargo plane of the Armenian Air Force, as well as a military transport, allegedly bought by Mr. Abrahamyan.
The suspected smugglers are charged under Art. 100.1 (planning, preparing or unleashing a war), 218.1 (creating a criminal community for the purpose of committing grave and especially grave crimes), 228.3 (illegal acquisition, transfer, storage or sale of weapons and ammunition), 279.1 (creation of illegal armed groups, participation in them creation) and 206.4 (participation in organized smuggling) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
“A preventive measure in the form of arrest was chosen against them, and all of them were put on the international wanted list … The Prosecutor General’s Office sent a request for legal assistance to the relevant state bodies of foreign countries,” the agency’s website says.
Ara Abrahamyan is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, president of the public organization Union of Armenians of Russia, general director of the COMEX company. He is also a member of the Commission on Interethnic Relations and Freedom of Conscience of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. Samvel Karapetyan is the president and founder of the Tashir group of companies, which includes more than 200 companies, including Electric Networks of Armenia. David Galustyan is the head of the Armenian company Royalsys Engineering, which is engaged in the supply of weapons, including the army.
Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalated once again at the end of September 2020, when the sides accused each other of shelling. In November of the same year, a trilateral agreement was signed between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on the cessation of hostilities. In May 2021, the situation on the border of the two countries worsened after accusations by Armenia that the Azerbaijani military crossed the state border in the Syunik region. And about. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called Baku’s actions an encroachment on the territory of Armenia and requested military assistance from Russia. The Russian Federation proposed to create a commission on the demarcation of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
More details about the development of the situation can be found in Kommersant’s article “Turkey is driving Armenia into the corridor.”