#66, 2002-04-10 | #67, 2002-04-11 | #68, 2002-04-12


The law enforcement bodies of Moscow tracked down and arrested members of criminal gang that had burst into the apartment of Hovanes Hovanesian, head of Moscow’s traumatology and orthopedic surgery, forcing him and his wife to give away $40,000.

The attack on Hovanesian took place in autumn of 1999. A false phone call as though from a phone company asking Hovanesian to go to the nearest post office for solving some misunderstanding concerning his phone bills made the Armenian scientist to leave the apartment. At the moment when Hovanesian opened the outside door of the apartment the criminals, who were waiting outside, pushed him into the apartment and beating him brutally demanded money and jewelry. The 66 year-old academician was stubborn and did not tell them anything, but when they put the gun on his forehead, his wife, not being able to bear the horrible scene any more, gave them all the money and jewelry. The criminals left with 40,000 dollars, jewelry and expensive drawings.

A number of similar crimes were committed in the same year, and the police of Moscow was after the gang that was committing the crimes. After thorough investigation, Moscow law enforcement bodies arrested members of a Georgian criminal gang. According to Russian ‘Commersant’ newspaper, the gang comprised ‘thief in law’ Bachuk Dvali, Nugzar Khachidze, Gelo Khachidze and Badri Shakeladze. The fifth member of the gang, another ‘thief in law’ Niko managed to escape during examination in the mental clinic, but was later arrested in Georgia. The above-mentioned four members of the gang were imprisoned for 8-12 year period. At that time, though, the Russian police did not know that it was the same gang that committed the crime in Hovanesian’s apartment.

After some time only it was revealed that it were the Georgian criminals who committed the robbery in Hovanesian’s apartment. The buyer of the painting that was stolen from Hovanesian’s apartment was arrested, who confessed that he had purchased the painting from Dvali’s gang. At present new accusations are put forward against the criminals, and the term they are to serve in the prison will be prolonged.

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