Narek Sargsyan

Yerevan Requests Extradition of Ex-President’s Nephew

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenian prosecutors have formally asked authorities in the Czech Republic to extradite the fugitive nephew of former President Serzh Sargsyan accused of illegal arms possession and drug trafficking.

“We sent all necessary extradition documents to the Czech Republic’s law-enforcement bodies on December 28,” a spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor-General, Arevik Khachatyan, said on Thursday.

Czech police tracked down and arrested the suspect, Narek Sargsyan, in Prague on December 6. He reportedly produced a fake Guatemalan passport identifying him as Franklin Gonzalez.

Sargsyan fled Armenia shortly before his family’s villa in Yerevan was searched by the National Security Service (NSS) in early July. The NSS claimed that 37-year-old had asked one of his friends to hide his illegally owned guns, cocaine and other drugs in a safer place. It released a video showing two suitcases purportedly filled with those items.

Sargsyan’s younger brother, Hayk, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and illegal arms possession in July. A Yerevan court freed him on bail in September.

Hayk and Narek are the sons of Serzh Sargsyan’s younger brother, Aleksandr. The latter is thought to have made a big fortune in the past two decades.

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A $30 million Armenian bank account of Aleksandr Sargsyan was frozen this summer as part of a separate inquiry conducted by the NSS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan publicly demanded in September that he “return the money to the state budget.”

 

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