The Narimanov District Court of Baku has ruled to remand in custody Vartan Sirmakes, a citizen of Switzerland. Azerbaijan applied to Interpol for Sirmakes’ arrest.
Earlier, Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan applied to Switzerland to bring Vartan Sirmakes responsible for his unlawful visit “to the occupied territories of the country and for launching business there”.
According to Azerbaijan’s authorities, Sirmakes, a co-founder and CEO of Franck Muller Group, together with a group of persons he created, launched illegal economic activities in “the occupied Azerbaijani territories” (Nagorno-Karabakh is in question – EADaily).
“Thus, to internationally promote the illegal regime established in the occupied territories, Sirmakes took part in the opening of the gold mine in the Vezhneli village, Zangilan region, without the consent of the relevant state bodies of Azerbaijan,” contact.az reports.
The Investigation Department for Grave Crimes of the Prosecutor General's Office filed a lawsuit basing on Articles 318.2 (illegal crossing of the border of the Azerbaijani Republic), 281.2 (open calls against the state), and 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
Vartan Sirmakes, a Swiss citizen of Armenian descent, is the founder, owner and CEO of Franck Muller Watchland. Sirmakes holds an 80pct stake in ArmSwissBank and a 25.6pct stake in Artsakhbank. He is implementing a range of big investment projects both in Armenia and Karabakh.