Former Interior Ministry Employees Detained

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The following statement was released by Armenia’s Interior and National Security Ministry on Monday:

"On March 20–a group of Interior and National Security Ministry officers were pursuing an investigation on the corner of Bagramian and Demirchian streets.

A group of people in a white GAZ-21 car bearing license plate 62US345 stopped the vehicle of the Interior and National Security Ministry officers and obstructed the previously scheduled raid. The people from the white car were carrying Interior and National Security Ministry identification cards.

The Interior and National Security Ministry officers proceeded to escort the people from the white car to the Interior and National Security Ministry offices. A search resulted in the discovery of two "TT" pistols with Rouben Khoudaverdian–a member of the group which obstructed the raid. In a search of his apartment–law enforcement agents found an "F-1" grenade with detonating fuse–50 cartridges of 5.6 mm caliber and military uniforms.

Rouben Khoudaverdian was a former employees of the security service of the Armenian Interior Ministry. In violation of regulations–he did not relinquish his identification card following his resignation from his position as policeman.

Portable radio transmitters were found with another member of the group Mnatsakan Minassian who once worked as an inspector at the department on combat against organized crime of the Interior Ministry–and as a bodyguard of Armenia’s Interior Minister from 1993 to 1994.

Groupmember Artur Grigorian–who was driving the car and also revealed an Interior and National Security Ministry identification card–previously held an inspector position at the central department of the Yerevan Department of Interior Affairs.

A certain Argishti Sahinian who earlier worked for the Interior Ministry and now works for the City of Yerevan’s was also detained in connection with the case. A "Parabellum" pistol which earlier belonged to certain top-ranking officials of the Interior Ministry was found with Sahinian. In a search of his apartment–law enforcement agents found a "Mauser" pistol–cartridges of different caliber–two portable radio transmitters–telescopic and military ammunition. The police also seized diskettes which Sahinian illegally took during his service at the Interior Ministry.

The Interior & National Security Ministry has launched a criminal investigation in connection with this case."

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