Germany arrests two Armenian mafia mobsters with 35 kg of marijuana
They participated in a shootout between criminal clans in the city of Erfurt in 2014 and 2016.
German police arrested 31-year-old Artur Z. and 26-year-old Karo S. (names changed) on suspicion of drug trafficking in the territory of the federal state of Thuringia, according to MDR THÜRINGEN. 35 kg of marijuana were found during searches.
Artur Z. and Karo S. were among the leaders of the Joker gang, which included young people from Armenia and Azerbaijan. The group was engaged in racketeering, robbery, and drug trafficking. Subsequently, the Joker gang fell apart, but two men continued their criminal activities. The suspects participated in the firefight between Armenian clans in the city of Erfurt in July 2014. Artur Z. also joined a shooting between the Armenian and Moldovan groups near a nightclub in Erfurt in June 2016.
According to the publication MDR THÜRINGEN, the investigators tried to establish ties between the Armenian mafia and the drug trade, but they did not have enough evidence.
For three years, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) together with the German Land Police Agency has been conducting a secret operation to search and arrest representatives of Armenian organized crime groups under the code name FATIL - Fight Against Thieves In Law. German police drew attention to the Armenian criminal groups after a shootout between participants of two organized criminal groups at a casino in Erfurt in 2014. Then two people of Armenia aged 27 and 54 were injured.
As part of the operation, 14 criminal cases were initiated. Investigations have been initiated against 42 people who are charged with money laundering. The materials featured the names of boxers Artur Abraham, Karo Murat, and the Armenian ambassador in the country, Ashot Smbatyan, but the law enforcers could not find convincing evidence against them and other suspects. The names of the suspected thieves in law are still not disclosed.
Kupavnenskaya criminal group, known for a series of bloody crimes at the beginning of the decade, has been completely eliminated. The last of its active members who remained at large has been detained in Moscow.