Ruben Tatulyan, a crime boss in Russia recently blacklisted by United States authorities, has publicly said that he’s an advisor to Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian.
Tatulyan, whose been called the “King of Russia’s Balck Sea Cost", made the declaration during an interview with Russian blogger Alexandre Valov.
“I am an advisor to the Armenian foreign minister, and have a diplomatic passport. I also have an automobile, property of the Armenian embassy in Russia, at my disposal,” Tatulyan said in the interview.
Hetq has written to the foreign ministry for comment. Tatulyan isn’t listed as an advisor on the foreign ministry’s website.
In a December 22 press release, the U.S. Department of the Treasury says its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has targeted the Eurasian criminal entity Thieves-in-Law, along with ten other individuals and two entities linked to it for “its involvement in serious transnational criminal activities.”
Regarding Tatulyan, the U. S.Treasury press release reads:
Ruben Tatulian is being designated for providing material support to the Thieves-in-Law. In 2010, Tatulian was appointed as the “overseer” of the Sochi, Russia Thieves-in-Law operation run by a senior Thief-in-Law. In 2015, Tatulian was detained as a participant at a meeting of Thieves-in-Law in Sochi along with Zakhary Kalashov; one of at least two instances in which Tatulian was detained at a meeting of Thieves-in-Law. In addition, on more than one occasion, Tatulian has assisted Thieves-in-Law who encountered legal problems.
Tatulyan has denied any links to the criminal underworld in Russia, claiming to be law-abiding businessman.