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Moscow bank hostage taker arrested for two months

August 26, 16:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The court has arrested the hostage taker who seized a bank in downtown Moscow for two months
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© Artem Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, August 26. /TASS/. Moscow’s Presnensky district court has arrested Aram Petrosyan, a businessman who seized a bank in the center of the Russian capital on Wednesday, until October 24.

The motion of the investigators is satisfied, Judge Tereza Zrebets said. 

His lawyer has announced plans to appeal against the court’s decision.

On Friday, Petrosyan was charged with hostage-taking in respect of two or more persons with the use of an object as a weapon. If found guilty, Petrosyan could face a sentence ranging from 6 to 15 years behind bars.

Hostage-taking drama

Late on Wenesday a businessman from the Moscow region seized a Citibank office in downtown Moscow. Petrosyan had a box wrapped in yellow tape that he claimed was an explosive device and threatened to blow up the office.

The hostage taker demanded that the current law on personal bankruptcy be canceled and that "a personal bankruptcy institution" be established to address the problems of bankrupt businessmen.

When the man entered the bank, there were six people inside: three clients, two cashiers and a security guard. A female employee was the first to be freed: she told the hostage taker that she was pregnant and could suddenly feel bad, and he let her go. After that, the security guard fled the building.

By 10.00 p.m. Moscow time, the perpetrator freed all hostages and surrendered to police.

Law enforcers said the perpetrator had no real explosive device. The box was a mockup. Investigators say the motive for the crime was that the man had been in a serious financial hot water.

A source told TASS earlier Petrosyan said he had manufactured first aid kits but became bankrupt. During the interrogation, Petrosyan said he did not plan to kill anyone. He later pleaded guilty giving a confession.

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