Thursday, February 03, 2005
Published: 3/2/2005, 08:44 (UAE)

Armenian lawmaker detained after manager complains of shoplifting

By Bassam Za'za', Staff Reporter

Dubai: An Armenian parliamentarian who was detained in Dubai on suspicion of shoplifting has been released, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

Hagop Hagopyan, his son and a third suspect were held for questioning during the third week of January. The incident took place after a store manager complained to police that two leather jackets worth Dh60,000 [$17,000] had gone missing after the trio visited the store.

"Hagop Hagopyan and his son were released a few days ago. They were only detained for a few days. They flew back to Armenia on Tuesday. The third suspect is still being detained," Arshag Poladyan, the Armenian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News. Hagopyan was on a personal visit to Dubai, Poladyan said.

Sources at Dubai Justice Department confirmed that only one suspect - the third one - had been referred to the public prosecution department last week. He faces charges of stealing.

"The Armenian politician and his son came into the shop along with a third person," the store manager said.

"The politician seemed to be a decent and upright person. They spoke Russian and, luckily, I could understand a few words of what they said. The politician was looking for a suit but unfortunately we didn't have his size. The third person chose a jacket worth Dh6,000, but he used some unappreciated terms. I told him those were our prices and we were having a 40 per cent discount sale.

"The third person, also Armenian, gave me a gold credit card to pay for his jacket. He then left the store with the politician's son. He said he would be back to sign the receipt.

"Then I escorted the politician to another part of the store to find him a suit in his size. Meanwhile, the third person returned to sign the receipt, he took the jacket in a bag and then left the shop. On his way out, my colleague asked me if he had paid. I said 'yes'," the store manager said.

The politician found a suit, which he bought and paid for in cash, the manager said.

"Afterwards, we realised that two leather jackets worth Dh60,000 were missing. The three Armenians were the only customers who had entered the store. Our alarm system had not been functioning. I headed to the security room and watched the tape.

"I realised the third suspect's bag looked like it was bulging and carrying more than one suit. So I became suspicious and filed a police complaint," he said.

That evening, police identified the suspects and held them for questioning. The plaintiff confirmed in his police statement that "he only suspected the third person". The next day, police returned the two jackets to the store manager.

"Hagopyan came to Dubai using an ordinary passport. After being detained, he identified himself as an Armenian parliamentarian. He was kept for a short period of time after he and his son were held on suspicion of shoplifting. However, the third suspect is still being held for questioning," Poladyan said.

"I realised the third suspect's bag looked like it was bulging and carrying more than one suit. So I became suspicious ..."

Store manager who filed police complaint

No comments:

Post a Comment