Spaniards are fed up with the "Armenian mafia", and the embassy takes offense

Mon 02 Jul 2018 07:25 GMT | 11:25 Local Time

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The foreign policy institution of Armenia was concerned with the sharp deterioration of the image of Armenians in Europe as a "long-suffering" nation "offended by the barbarian neighbors".

The thing is that a large-scale operation was carried out against one of the largest criminal groups in the country - the Armenian mafia in Spain last week.

More than 100 people were arrested in the operation in Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Alicante, Madrid and other cities. According to the Spanish press, the court issued 73 search warrants, confiscated property, blocked the suspects' accounts. Five international arrest warrants were also issued.

The list of crimes in which members of the group are suspected is impressive. The arrested are accused of creating a criminal organization, illegal drug trafficking, tobacco smuggling, money laundering, corruption, threats and extortion, assassination attempts - a total of 13 crimes. Their activities go beyond Spain and are not limited to state borders in Europe. In short, the Armenian mafiosi were involved in almost every criminal action.

The special operation involved about a thousand investigators and special forces. The police worked simultaneously on a hundred addresses - mostly elite mansions, where the alleged criminals lived. High fences were taken by storm, they examined the secret rooms of the mansions, lounges and trunks of luxury cars and offices where weapons, drugs, smuggled goods were stored including perfumes, watches, alcohol, cigars.

Among those arrested are the leaders of the criminal group Erik Jaghinyan and Artak Ohanyan. The first large-scale investigation was the double murder in 2016 in the town of Terrace. Gela Galiashvili and Gocha Kakalashvili assistants to criminal authorities - the brothers Kakha and Lasha Shushanashvili were killed.

Several years ago the Shushanashvili brothers moved to Europe, where they created the largest criminal group. Lasha Shushanashvili, whom European law enforcers consider the leader of the largest organized group in the EU, is currently under investigation in France. The French authorities accuse him of a number of crimes, some of which, in the opinion of the investigation, were planned together with his brother. In turn, Kakha Shushanashvili in March 2016 was sentenced by a Spanish court to 20 years and 11 months in prison (later the term was reduced to 15 years and 3 months).

Apparently, the place of Shushanashvili brothers in Spain was occupied by Armenian criminal authorities. Judging by the materials of the investigation of Galiashvili and Kakalashvili's murder, the Spanish authorities accuse Jaghinyan and Ohanyan of this crime. In other words, the Armenian mafia, having ousted the Georgian grouping from Spain, unleashed a wide criminal activity.

Since the press release of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Spain on June 26 put into circulation the phrase "Armenian mafia", which was later distributed in the media, the Armenian embassy expressed its concern about the use of this term.

"In full confidence about the professionalism of public order and the security agencies of Spain, we believe that in the fight against criminal organizations it is inappropriate to emphasize the ethnic origin of its members. The embassy expresses its concern over the use of such terms and accents, which seriously damage the reputation of tens of thousands of honest Armenians and workers living in Spain, "the statement said.

Apparently, the Armenians living in Spain fell prey to a sense of their own defectiveness. After all, they are proud of everything that has the epithet "Armenian" in the title. Accustomed to adding the epithet "Armenian" to everything in the world that catches the eye, the Armenians decided to apply it to the word "mafia". But it is one thing to consider all the achievements of mankind as Armenian creations, and quite another to claim the primacy in the criminal world.

For example, the aforementioned grouping of Shushanashvili brothers despite their Georgian origin was called "the Russian mafia" in Europe. But apparently Armenians, proud of their exceptionality, did not want to put up with such an "injustice." So they introduced the term, which the Armenian embassy is so painfully reacting to now.

Nevertheless, the Armenian embassy should worry not about the use of the term "Armenian mafia" by the Spanish media, but the thing that happened during the inauguration of the Smithsonian folklore festival in Washington on June 27. At this event, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian refused to shake hands with the Spanish ambassador to the US Pedro Morenes, but did it quite warmly with the head of the Catalan Generalitat Kim Torra.

The photo featuring Torra and Sarkissian shake hands during the reception, flaunts on the Twitter page of the Catalan Generalitat. Later, realizing the mistake of the Armenian president, his press service spread the message that Sarkissian shook hands and had a talk with Morenes.

The point is that the Armenian authorities have not yet decided on the position on Catalonia. In 2017, immediately after the declaration of "independence" of Catalonia, European countries condemned the attempt to violate the territorial integrity of Spain. Azerbaijan also supported Madrid, which can not be said about Armenia. In this country, where murderers and terrorists, as well as accomplices of German fascists, people still cherish the hope that any country will recognize the "independence" of the separatist regime created in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

In this regard, Armenia pins special hopes on the Catalan separatists. The largest number of Armenians in the country lives in this Spanish region. However, due to recent events in connection with the arrests of members of the criminal group, which is of Armenian origin and is the largest in Europe, the Armenian Foreign Ministry decided to attend to their image. After all, the Karabakh separatists and their Yerevan masters should be perceived as "fighters for self-determination" and "supporters of democracy", rather than hard-core criminals.

This situation resembles the well-known fable of Sergei Mikhalkov's "The Lion and the Label," where morality is that the label is stronger than a lion. Although here it is still appropriate to compare Armenians not with such a noble animal as a lion, but with that creature whose name was written on the attached label ...

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