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Nagorno Karabakh ex-minister detained over military contraband

March 23, 0:48 UTC+3 YEREVAN
On Wednesday, Armenian intelligence agencies said they had prevented an attempt to smuggle into Armenia from Georgia components to the Igla air defense missile system
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YEREVAN, March 23. /TASS/. The former defense minister of Nagorno-Karabakh (a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan), Samvel Babayan, was detained on Wednesday by Armenian security services on suspicion of his involvement in the smuggling of components to the Igla surface-to-air missile system, republic’s National Security Service told TASS.

"Three people were detained, including Armenian national Samvel Babayan" within the framework of a criminal case opened over the smuggling, it said.

"As a result of investigative and search actions, reliable data has been received that the people who bought and transported components to the man-portable air defense missile system were acting by prior arrangement with Samvel Babayan and to his order," the National Security Service said.

The security services are looking into the motives for buying air defense system components, the aim of their possible use and sources of financing.

On Wednesday, Armenian intelligence agencies said they had prevented an attempt to smuggle into Armenia from Georgia components to the Igla air defense missile system. A launching tube with 9M39 missile was seized in the operation.

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