German Public Television MDR releases information and airs documentary about Armenian mafia activity in Germany

German Public Television MDR releases information and airs documentary about Armenian mafia activity in Germany
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  • calendar-gray 19 December 2019

German Public Television MDR has released information and a broadcast documentary about Armenian mafia activity in Germany, APA reports. 

The report released by authors Axel Hemmerling and Lüdwig Kendzia discusses the various armed confrontation and conflicts involving Armenian mafia groups in Weimar, Erfurt and Eichsfeld cities of the Thuringian federal land. It is said that the study of 58,000-page documentation of local law enforcement agencies in various regions of Germany revealed that these armed conflicts were not isolated incidents, but rather a manifestation of a long history of "wars" between mafia clans. 

It has also been established that various mafia bosses were involved in these shootings, that Armenian mafia groups in Berlin and East Germany were managed by mafia bosses in Belgium and France and that a relative "calm" was achieved in the conflicts involving Armenian mafia groups thanks to the efforts of well-known mafia bosses of post-Soviet republics (Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine).  

The documentary shows that the root cause of the incidents that occurred with the participation of Armenian mafia clans in Weimar and Erfurt in 2013 and 2014 was the fight for control over the millions of euros worth of automobile business, as well as the sale of stolen cars from Germany to Poland and their subsequent reimport into Germany after the removal of spare parts. 

The events in Eichsfeld are portrayed as the result of clashes within an Armenian dynasty that has lived in this city for more than 20 years and has extensive ties with Germany, France, Belgium and Armenia. It is noted that domestic violence began with deadly clashes in 2005, was accompanied with more bloodshed in 2017 and 2018, prompting a police operation and numerous arrests. It is said with reference to internal documents of law enforcement agencies that the mentioned family is engaged in automobile trade between Belgium and Germany. There is evidence of drug trafficking in cars imported into federal lands in Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt of Germany. Members of the clan were also involved in the illegal trade of alcohol. The mafia clan based in Eichsfeld is not affiliated with the mafia clans involved in the armed conflict in Weimar and Erfurt in 2013-2014 and is believed to be fully independent. 

The “Godfathers in Germany: Armenian Mafia and Mafia Bosses” documentary broadcast on 27 November 2019 ( provides information about the essence and structure of organized crime and the mafia boss model and the presence of such mafia gangs in Germany and Europe. The film also reveals details of the FATIL operation carried out against Armenian mafia in Germany, facts related to Armenian mafia's "business" relationship with the Italian mafia (counterfeit banknotes and drug trafficking), and a recent large-scale operation against the Armenian mafia in Spain. It is said that there is a strong hierarchy in Armenian mafia clans and that this network constantly expands through illegal migration. 

The film also says that Armenia has been a corrupt country and a kleptocracy for decades, that Armenian mafia bosses are linked to the former Armenian government and that the new Armenian government has declared war on mafia bosses. 

The film also features prof. Avetis Sadoyan, a political refugee who was granted asylum in Germany 10 years ago. He speaks about pervasive criminality in Armenian society and the negative effects of kleptocracy on ordinary citizens. He says that people usually follow the example of someone successful, and such successful people in Armenia are criminal elements. According to a study, 95 percent of Armenian men use criminal slang in their speeches. He calls for the "revolution" that has taken place in Armenia to end this mentality. Avetis Soyoyan also claims that billions of dollars have been withdrawn from Armenia through mafia structures and calls on German law enforcement agencies to help them return the money to the Armenian population. 

At the same time, the film indicates that the Armenian "revolution" did not bring about major changes for Germany, adding that Ashot Smbatyan has been the Armenian Ambassador since 2015. Ashot Smbatyan is described as a "shrewd person". 

It is noted that immediately after the shooting in Erfurt (2014) and the MDR report about it, he unexpectedly traveled to Thuringia and met with the Prime Minister and Interior Minister of that land, offering cooperation in the field of security between the Thuringian land and Armenia. It is reported that this action of the Armenian Ambassador caused anxiety in the Federal Criminal Office of Germany (BKA) and the Criminal Office of the Thuringian Land (LKA). The Ambassador said he did not want to discuss his actions publicly and even sued MDR and Der Spiegel magazine (see our letter SBRL/1437/19). The trial is still ongoing. 

MDR Television and Der Spiegel magazine are currently jointly investigating Armenian mafia activities in Germany and have been covering this issue since November last year. Armenian Ambassador to Germany Ashot Smbatyan is also said to have links to organized crime. A documentary of the same name was supposed to be broadcast a year ago, on 7 November 2018, but following the Armenian Ambassador's claim, the film was temporarily banned until the Berlin court examined the facts about him. The film was eventually broadcast after the facts related to the Armenian Ambassador had been removed from it. 

The film also reveals information about well-known members of the Armenian mafia. The names of professional boxers Murat Karo and Artur Abraham are mentioned in the investigation documents. Facts are provided on Bundestag members Albert Weiler and Manfred Grund (both are members of the Armenian lobby and are on Azerbaijan's list of "undesirable" persons), as well as their participation in the German-Armenian forum alongside the Armenian Ambassador, as well as events held by the Armenian Ambassador in German regions. It is said that Armenian nations were working in the Bundestag offices of both MPs (Alla Serobyan works in A. Weiler's office and Andronik Aslanyan in M. Grund's office), and one of them is in the real estate business (M. Grund’s employee A. Aslanyan owns a real estate company called Elase Real Estate). 

Bundestag member and president of the German-Armenian Forum A. Weiler says in the film said that the Armenian mafia issue was not officially discussed within the Forum, but he had discussed it with the Armenian Ambassador and it is established that any members of the Forum are involved in any criminal activity, they would assist in the deportation of that person from Germany.


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