Crime in Armenia
Crime in Armenia includes human trafficking, domestic violence, murder, political murder, contract killing, tax evasion, corruption, extortion, money laundering, police brutality, organized crime, and clan or gang violence.
Organized crime and "brotherhoods" [change]
Organized crime is a part of the Armenian economy. Yerevan is controlled by a set of organized, criminal clans known as "akhperutyuns" (or brotherhoods). The different groups sometimes battle for rights over their territory. Members are guided by the underworld laws brought from Russian prisons.
Most of the smaller cities, towns, and villages of Armenia are also controlled by a clan or family.
Human trafficking [change]
A "well-paid job" is very often the bait used to persuade women in difficult social situations to travel abroad.
Sexual exploitation [change]
The United States has repeatedly said Armenia is a major source of illegal transport of women for sexual exploitation. Women and girls are usually sold to buyers in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey."
In July 2004, Russia’s Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev said that growing cooperation between Russian and Armenian law enforcement bodies has prevented more than one hundred Armenian women from being trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation. According to Nurgaliev, "criminal groups" which have been neutralized planned to transport the mostly young women to third countries, mainly the United Arab Emirates, via Russia. On June 24, 2004, members of a criminal group who were intent on forcing 6 Armenian women into prostitution were arrested.
On April 20, 2009, Anoush Martirosyan, the infamous "Madame Pimp" of Dubai, was sentenced to thirteen years in prison by a Yerevan judge. Martirosyan ran a prostitution ring in Dubai to which she lured girls from Armenia.
Domestic violence [change]
According to a 2008 study by Amnesty International, more than a quarter of women in Armenia "have faced physical violence at the hands of husbands or other family members." Reporting domestic violence is heavily stigmatized in Armenian society. Many of these women have no choice but to stay in abusive situations.
- Yerevan Police Report Rise in Crime in 2008, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), November 19, 2008.
- Ishkhanyan, Vahan (March 3, 2006). "Mean Streets: A rare look at Armenia’s Capital clans". ArmeniaNow. http://www.armenianow.com/?action=viewArticle&IID=1071&AID=1390&lng=eng. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
- Selling Souls: Officials under pressure to step up the fight against people trafficking, ArmeniaNow.com, October 20, 2006.
- Yerevan To Adopt New Anti-Trafficking Plan, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), September 5, 2007.
- U.S. Keeps Armenia On Human Trafficking ‘Watch List’, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), June 6, 2006.
- Russian Police ‘Helping Stop Human Trafficking From Armenia’, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), July 2, 2004.
- Davtyan, Ararat (April 20, 2009). ""Madame Anoush", Infamous Pimp of Dubai, Sentenced to 13 Years". Hetq Online. http://hetq.am/en/court/anush-martirosyan-3/. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
- There’s no pride in silence: domestic and sexual violence against women in Armenia, Amnesty International, November 13, 2008