by Tatevik Shahunyan
The Russian special services have detained one of the richest Armenian businessmen in the world Levon Hayrapetyan on suspicion of being privy to the notorious "Kingisep" criminal group.
According to Rosbalt, Hayrapetyan was detained on Tuesday upon arriving in Moscow from his home in Monaco.
Shortly the investigators are planning to petition the Basmanny Court to arrest the businessman.
According to them, Sergey-Finagin's "Kingisepp" group, together with Alexander Matusov's "Schelkovo" gang, did contract killings first for businessman Georgy Safiyev (killed in the United States) and then for former Senator Igor Izmestyev (who is now in jail for life).
It was Izmestyev who said that Levon Hayrapetyan was privy to some of the killings, particularly, those related to the Bashneft oil company. Born in 1949, Levon Hayrapetyan was a journalist for years. It was then that he made friends with some influential politicians, particularly, then Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and President of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. And it was Hayrapetyan who put Izmestyev in touch with Rakhimov.
Then Hayrapetyan decided to quit journalism and to launch an oil delivery business. As a result, today he is the 10th richest Armenian in the world.
Hayrapetyan was among the founders of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and has ever since been one of its key sponsors. He is also an active campaigner for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He has even met with US President Barack Obama on this matter.
Currently the Moscow Municipal Court is considering a case involving Izmestyev, Finagin and many other people supposedly involved in criminal activities in the 1990s and 2000s. Izmestyev is believed to be one of the organizers of Finagin's group.
Together with other persons, he managed the criminal group, took measures to supply the group with money, weapons, cars and communication and instructed it to commit specific crimes. The group had firearms and cold steel weapons, ammunition, and explosive devices. The group used forged documents, rented flats and garages. The members of the criminal group received monthly monetary rewards and cash bonuses for each crime.
The investigators think that the criminal group members committed numerous grave crimes and felonies, including dozens of murders.