Wednesday, 26 September

Why Pimps Don't Get Punished

Edik Baghdasaryan
Aghavni Yeghiazaryan

On May 25 2005, The Court of First Instance of the Kotayk Province, Judge Gagik Heboyan presiding, reviewed the request from the Abovyan prison and released prisoner Marietta Musayelyan before she had completed her sentence. Muselyan had been wanted by the police since 2003 and was sentenced to one year and six months in prison. She served only seven months.

Why were the Ministry of Justice and the court so willing to grant the notorious pimp a reprieve? We can only guess.

Who is Marietta Musayelyan, born in Echmiadzin in 1966? Let's look at her criminal file to find out.

On September 17-18, 2004, two representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Armenia, Senior Detective Aristakes Yeremyan and Detective K. Batikyan went to United Arab Emirates. In Dubai, they interrogated Marietta Musayelyan and the women who were working for her. This is what Marietta said during her interrogation. “In 1983 I married Arsen Muradkhanyan from Echmiadzin. I had two children from the marriage, Suren and Sarkis Muradkhanyan. Arsen is now in Echmiadzin; Sarkis is living with him. Suren lives with me in Dubai. In 1986 I divorced Arsen Muradkhanyan and I was taking care of the children myself. In 1990 I went to Turkey to make a living by trading goods. In 1997 I went to Dubai to become a prostitute. But I couldn't do it, and after I learned the details of making money on prostitutes I decided to traffic young women from Armenia to Dubai, to become their pimp and make money on them. I went to Armenia, recruited five young girls and transported them to Dubai, where I organized everything.

“I was sentenced by in a Yerevan court to community service for organizing prostitution from 1997-2000. After that, since I didn't have a job, and couldn't take care of my kids, I decided to recruit prostitutes in Armenia, send them to Dubai and become a pimp again. I was sentenced under my old family name, Muradkhanyan; that's why I got married in April 2002 to Albert from Echmiadzin, my friend Siranush Musayelyan's brother.

During that time I got a new passport with the new last name. Siranush was a prostitute years ago, and so I asked her to recruit girls for me. I also asked Nune Khechyan. Meanwhile I went to Dubai and started receiving girls from Nune and Siranush. Overall, I received ten girls from Nune and Siranush, but now I don't remember who sent how many. For each prostitute they sent my way, I would send Nune and Siranush $1000 via Western Union, so that they could buy a plane ticket for the girls and take care of all the departure problems.”

On November 8 2004, detectives Yeremyan and Khachatryan once again interrogated Marietta Musayelyan, this time in the prison in Abovyan. During the interrogation the pimp revealed several interesting details.

“I confess that I indeed was organizing prostitution in United Arab Emirates from 1997 to September 24 of this year. In 2000 I was convicted by the Malatia-Sebastia District Court of violating, Article 226 Paragraph 1of the Armenian Criminal Code. When my sentence was almost up, I decided to pursue the aforementioned criminal activity again in order to gain personal profit. This time, through the help of two friends, Anna Ghazaryan and Marietta Aghajanyan, who had also been sentenced previously for the same crime, I met L. B from Tavush. Upon her agreement, I got a visa for L. from Susanna Sukiasyan, a pimp in Dubai. In April or May 2002 I sent L. to Dubai via the Yerevan-Dubai flight. I had agreed previously with Susanna that L. would work as a prostitute for her, but upon my return to Dubai I would become L.'s pimp. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, as after several days of my arrival in Dubai L. was caught for prostitution and was deported to Yerevan. To deal with my problem, I asked my old friend Nune Khechyan, who was recruiting girls in Armenia and sending them to Dubai, to get me couple of girls for a price that I do not remember now. Since it was no longer possible to transport prostitute girls on the Yerevan-Dubai flight, I asked around and found out that the pimp Narine Khachatryan’s (aka “Horse Nano’s”) lover Araik transported girls from Moscow to Dubai. I decided to cooperate with him. After talking with him on the phone, we made a deal. He agreed to help me at $1500-$2000 for each girl.”

Who is Araik Aghajanyan? The trafficking of Armenian women via Moscow to Dubai was mainly done by several Armenian gangs. Among these, Araik Aghajanyan's gang was the most famous. In the files of the criminal cases against pimps, both the pimps and their victims give the names of the members of this gang. Three people were in the gang, all Armenian citizens living in Moscow: Ara Aghajanyan, Sevak Simonyan, and Avetik Khachatryan. They took $1500 - $2000 from the pimps for each girl they sent to Dubai. In June 2004, as a result of cooperation between Russian and Armenian law enforcement agencies, these three were arrested. The Vesti program on Russia’s RTR TV channel reported the arrest. The gang members were extradited to Yerevan, but after some time they were released. According to our sources, they were interrogated, their crime was uncovered, and yet they were released. Who gave the order to release them? We don’t think it would be too hard for our prosecutors to find that out.

to be continued

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