A pro-Azerbaijani lobbyist Kemal “Kevin” Oksuz, who is wanted by the United States and was arrested Wednesday in Yerevan, registered a business in Armenia in September 2017, records obtained by Armenpress indicated.
Armenia’s State Police, working with Interpol, arrested Oksuz on Wednesday. On Friday, prosecutors filed a motion to remand him.
In 2017, the State Registry of Armenia registered The Sena Group, listing Oksuz as its director. According to the company’s website, the business is a full-service tourism company providing tours, organizing conference and special events in Armenia.
Ashot Aharonyan, a police spokesperson told Armenpress on Friday that Oksuz is still in Armenia, but did not release any other details, including whether he will be extradited to the U.S., where he is deemed a fugitive and wanted for perjury and falsifying documents.
The police said, in a statement issued Thursday, that Oksuz was under the law enforcement radar since the first day he was declared to be a wanted by the U.S. on August 23.
“The Armenian Diaspora is powerful and it is doing a very good job. The Azerbaijani Diaspora is nothing. They only waste money on lobbying, but they fail to achieve anything. When a resolution on recognizing the Armenian Genocide reached the US Congress, the Turks begin working against it. They call and organize meetings. I too have done a similar thing, because I didn’t believe [in the genocide],” Oksuz reportedly told Yerevan police during his interrogation.
Before rearing his head in Armenia, Oksuz, a Turkish-born U.S. citizen, was engaged in lobbying for Turkey and Azerbaijan, most notoriously planning a 2013 for American lawmakers in Baku, in partnership with the state-run SOCAR oil company, which secretly funneled $750,000 to a non-profit group allegedly run by Oksuz.
“The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, known as SOCAR, allegedly funneled $750,000 through nonprofit corporations based in the United States to conceal the source of the funding for the conference,” reported the Washington Post in 2015, citing a 70-page report by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), an independent investigative arm of the US House of Representatives.
The “Vision for the Future” event in Baku was attended by ten members of US Congress, their spouses, state legislators from 42 states and 32 staffers.
In reporting the arrest, the Turkish press said Oksuz’s brother, Adil, is linked to Fethullah Gulen, the Islamic cleric who is accused by Turkey for masterminding the 2016 coup.