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Former Armenian Defense Chief Arrested In Fraud Probe

Former Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan
Former Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan

Former Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan has been arrested in connection with an investigation into supplies of allegedly faulty ammunition provided to the country’s armed forces.

The National Security Service (NSS) on September 30 confirmed the arrest, which occurred late the previous day.

The NSS statement also said that arms dealer Davit Galstian was also arrested, and both men are accused of defrauding the state of nearly 2.3 billion drams ($4.7 million).

The NSS also said that other, unnamed serving and retired military officers were being investigated in connection with the case.

Tonoyan served as defense minister from 2018 until 2020, and he was sacked just days after a Russia-brokered agreement ended six weeks of fighting between Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan over that country’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Galstian owns several firms that have supplied weapons and ammunition to the armed forces for many years.

The Nagorno-Karabakh war ended with a Moscow-brokered cease-fire in November 2020, which among other things led to Baku retaking control of parts of the region and neighboring districts that had been under Armenian control for nearly three decades.

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