16.03.2022 | Criminal gangs engaged in drug trafficking through Internet applications identified

As a result of the active and effective cooperation of the bodies carrying out operational-search activities under the coordination of the RA Prosecutor's Office, unprecedented results have been achieved in the fight against drug trafficking.


As a result of a comprehensive analysis of information obtained through large-scale electronic and other evidence obtained and other procedural actions, the fulfillment of requests to the competent authorities of foreign countries for legal assistance, it was possible to identify several organized groups involved in drug trafficking through Internet applications - mainly via Telegram channels.


During the preliminary investigation in this criminal case, among other procedural actions, about 50 searches were carried out, more than 100 petitions were sent to the court for Internet access and subscriber data, more than 10 petitions for legal assistance were sent to foreign competent authorities, on the basis of one of which a criminal case was initiated in the Russian Federation.


During the preliminary investigation, it was established that a resident of Kotayk region since 2017 until August 30, 2021 created and managed 5 channels in the telecommunications application "Telegram", through which, together with members of his organized group, he sold mainly large quantities of various drugs in the territory of Yerevan, as a result of which, only in a payment and settlement organization operating in Russia, the latter owned 2 e-wallets received an amount equivalent to AMD 52.327.000. In order to hide the criminal origin of these funds, to distort their real nature, they were subsequently transferred to electronic wallets or bank cards opened by the accomplices of the accused in the payment and settlement organizations of the Republic of Armenia, after which they were disposed of at the discretion of the accomplices.


According to the preliminary investigation, about 74.000.000 AMD were transferred from wallets opened in foreign payment and settlement organizations used by people accused for drug trafficking to more than 3 dozen wallets of similar organizations operating in Armenia.


In addition, January 20, 2022 another person was detained and arrested for creating a channel on the Telegram Internet application that was involved in drug trafficking of various types.


According to the information received, from January to April 2020, 5.302.222 AMD was transferred from a wallet operating in Russia for the purpose of drug trafficking to an electronic wallet of a person identified in Russia. Data was also received that in the same wallet in 2020-2021 in just one year 73.447.078 AMD was received from other foreign wallets.


In addition, on January 23 and 25, 2022 5 persons were found and detained from various places.


During the searches, narcotic drugs of various types in especially large amounts were found, and the defendants also presented them.


17 persons were charged under various parts of Articles 266 and 190 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia for the illegal circulation of narcotic drugs in especially large amounts and the legalization of property in especially large amounts obtained by criminal means, in relation to 13 of them detention was implemented as a measure of restraint.


The preliminary investigation of the criminal case is ongoing. The necessary criminal procedural and operational-search measures are being taken, including using the cooperation of the prosecutor's office to identify all persons involved in criminal schemes, the payment instruments used, the full amount of legalized property obtained from criminal activity.


By the orders of the RA Prosecutor General, a group of employees of the relevant subdivisions of the RA Investigative Committee was involved in joint work to ensure the above-mentioned unprecedented results.