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Vahe Sarukhanyan

Arzakantsyan Case Suspect Arrested

Agents from the Russian Ministry of the Interior’s Crime and Terrorism Department have arrested one of the men suspected of the attempted murder of Tigran Arzakantsyan, Armenian Member of Parliament and owner of the Great Valley Company.

According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, the suspect - Alexander Saribekyan, known in the criminal world by the nickname "Aliko" and previously convicted of embezzlement - has already confessed to the crime.

On September 26 of this year, Saribekyan and a friend entered the Metropol Casino in Moscow, where they got into an argument with Arzakantsyan, wounded the MP with a knife and gun and then fled.  It took the Russian Ministry of the Interior two and a half months to capture Aliko.  The other suspect is still at large, although the Ministry of the Interior has announced that it will not take long to catch him.  The knife and the gun used in the crime have not yet been found.  There were no cartridge cases found at the scene of the crime, which has led to the assumption that the gun was a revolver.

According to Kommersant, the investigation has revealed that Alexander Saribekyan is a member of a Moscow criminal gang whose members are from Armenia.  The gang found out that Arzakantsyan was getting ready to "start doing business" in Moscow, after which they demanded one million dollars from the MP as protection money.  Arzakantsyan was given a few days to think it over, after which the two gang members met him and, after an apparently unexpected refusal from him, carried out the crime.  Although the suspects did not have any trouble getting into the casino and then escaping, the whole incident was recorded by video cameras, thanks to which investigators established the identities of the two men and began searching for them.

Arzakantsyan was taken to hospital in critical condition after the incident and then left for Europe after he was discharged, for an additional course of treatment.