Friday, September 09, 2005

Armenians Arrested in Dubai
[September 5, 2005]

Susana Sukiasyan (a.k.a. Grpo Suso), a Dubai pimp who had been sought by the Armenian police, was arrested in July, along with ten women who were worked for her. According to our sources in the Dubai police force, Sukiasyan's arrest was unconnected to her involvement in the sex trade.

Every Armenian pimp in Dubai has a man who is both her lover and her protector. For Sukiasyan, S. played that role. Recently S. was arrested for possessing false documents while visiting one of Suso's girls, N., in the Dubai jail where she was being held. In the Emirates, the police photograph prison visitors and check their database to see whether they are suspects in any crimes. The police found out that two days earlier, S. had been captured on security cameras stealing gold jewelry from two stores. The police released the girl they had arrested, and followed her to Grpo Suso's rented apartment, where they confiscated the stolen jewelry and arrested the Armenian prostitutes, Grpo Suso, and her lover, S.

In the UAE, the law stipulates sever punishment for this type of crime; Susana Sukiasyan is doing everything she can to get deported to Armenia.

In all likelihood she will succeed, and she and her girls will be deported to Armenia in the near future. Here, she will be arrested, and sentence to a year and a half in prison. She will be released after six months, free to continue her activities with a new passport. At any rate, this is the usual scenario. For instance, Lusine Hakobyan was released a put on probation in July (See also: No Payback for the Pimp) Both the prosecution and the court pointed to mitigating circumstances—she has a young child and a sick mother (although evidence of her mother's illness was never presented in court). Twenty days after she was released, Hakobyan left for Dubai, where she has resumed her illegal activities.

We were informed by the public relations department of the Armenian Foreign Ministry that five women and one man have been deported from the UAE to Armenia in 2005, and two others are awaiting deportation. The women were all working under the supervision of Anahit Malkhasyan (a.k.a. Debr Ano), a pimp from Echmiadzin. Malkhasyan is being sought by the police in Dubai, although our prosecutors know where she is. She was interrogated twice in Dubai. In August, she sent for and received five new girls, soon after the four other prostitutes who had been working for her were departed. One of these girls told us that all of the newcomers are from Yerevan, and one of them is underage. That means that either their passports were faked in Yerevan or a tourist agency took care of their problems. Interestingly, Debr Ano is building a huge villa in Echmiadzin.

The man who was deported, whose name is Alik, is currently being held by the Armenian police. He plays a big role in the Dubai sex trade, but that's another story.

The US State Department has published a report on trafficking that points to the United Arab Emirates as an end destination for traffickers. Apparently there too, as in Armenia, there is a need to demonstrate that an unwavering fight against the crime of human trafficking has begun.

Edik Baghdasaryan

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