Businessman, known in Armenia for involvement in offshore scandal, taken in police custody in Tbilisi

Businessman, known in Armenia for involvement in offshore scandal, taken in police custody in Tbilisi

YEREVAN, February 1. /ARKA/. Businessman Ashot Sukiasyan, known in Armenia for involvement in the offshore scandal, was found and yesterday in Tbilisi and taken in police custody, Novosti-Armenia reported today referring to Armen Malkhasyan, a spokesman of the Armenian Police Department.   

Ashot Sukiasyan, charged with large-scale fraud, abuse of trust and legalization of profits gained by illegal means, was announced wanted on June 17, 2013, but have been at large since then. 

«The Armenian police in cooperation in cooperation with Interpol's National Central Bureau and the Georghia law enforcement agencies found Ashot Sukiasyan in Tbilisi on January 31 and taken him in custody,» Malkhasyan said. «Extradition is being discussed now.»  

According to media reports, entrepreneur Paylak Hayrapetyan has pawned his property on Sukiasyan’s initiative in a bank to start importing rough diamonds from Sierra Leone, and the latter has pocketed this money. In February 2011, bank officers tried to seize the pawned property. 

Sukiasyan is also involved in the offshore scandal - he, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan have established an offshore company in Cyprus. Some media outlets say that one of Armenian commercial banks, backed by the prime minister, has transferred more than $10 million to the company's accounts.    

The premier denied any complicity in the affair and asked the prosecutor general's office to launch investigation into the case. -0---

16:14 01.02.2014

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