Tourism, Defence Ministers deny involvement with “international criminals”

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb and Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim have denied involvement with an infamous pair of Armenian brothers linked with drug trafficking, money laundering, raids on media outlets and other serious crimes in Kenya.

Photos of the Arturs in the company of the two Maldivian ministers emerged on social media over the weekend, apparently taken during the Piston Motor Racing Challenge held on Hulhumale’ between January 25 and 26.

One photo showed Artur Sargsyan next to Adheeb and Nazim, while another has him apparently starting one of the motorcycle races at the event, which was organised by the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF). Another image showed Sargsyan at the red carpet opening for the Olympus Cinema.

Defence Minister Nazim has denied any association with the brothers: “I came to know about them after the rumors started spreading on social media networks. But no country had informed of us anything officially,” local media reported Nazim as saying. “To my knowledge those two men have left the Maldives,” he said.

Adheeb acknowledged meeting the brothers during the event, but bemoaned to Haveeru how “information about this issue is being spread by the media rather negatively. I have no links with them.”

“They met with us in Hulhumale’. They told us that they were defrauded by some senior officials of the former government [former President Nasheed’s government], who took large sums of money from them for investment in the Maldives,” Adheeb said.

“If you want to know the truth about who has links with the Artur brothers, you should find out who the shareholders are of the company established by them in the Maldives. It’s not right that Haveeru reports everything that’s shared on social media. The photo showing [me with] the Artur brothers was taken at an event that was open to the public,” he said.

Meanwhile, a letter from the Tourism Ministry to immigration authorities requesting a residency visa for Margaryan and Sargayan Artur, dated January 27 and signed by Adheeb, was subsequently leaked on social media.

Speaking to Minivan New, Adheeb reiterated that he had no personal links with the Artur brothers, whom he said had now left the country on his recommendation.

According to Adheeb, the Artur brothers had previously invested in the country through a registered joint venture company with members of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

“They complained to me that these partners had [defrauded] them and that their visas had expired,” he said.

“I advised them to leave peacefully and they agreed to sort out their visa and leave. They have now left.”

Adheeb added that his decision to ask the brothers to leave had been “for the good of the country”.

He claimed issues concerning the two brothers had been politicised intentionally following the PPM primaries held on Saturday (March 30).

Details of the brothers’ investments in the Maldives – and their Maldivian partners – were also released by the Ministry for Economic Development.

Haveeru reported that ‘Artur Brothers World Connections’ was registered in the Maldives in October 2012, with the Artur brothers holding an 80 percent share in a 61-19 percent split.

French nationals identified as Godzine Sargsyan and Edga Sargsyan had a 10 and 7 percent share, while a Maldivian national Ismail Waseem of H. Ever Chance was listed as holding the remaining 3 percent.

Waseem’s share was subsequently transferred to Abdulla Shaffath of H. Ever Peace on November 25.

The Untouchables

Kenyan media network KTN in 2011 dubbed the brothers ‘The Untouchables’ in a three-hour exposé of their activities in the country, during which time they were found to have ingratiated themselves with the government to such an extent that they were made deputy police commissioners – the third highest rank in the Kenyan police force.

Their arrival in Kenya followed the 2004 seizure by police of 1.1 tons of cocaine, the country’s largest cocaine haul worth US$88 million at the time.

Fifteen months later, according to an investigation by Kenya’s Standard newspaper, the brothers were brought into the country “by rogue government officials to set up and train a specialised anti-narcotics unit.”

“More than one source suggests the state was tricked into hiring enforcers working for drug traffickers who wanted to recover the cocaine being held in Kenya,” the Standard reported.

“The hired guns failed to complete their task after they were publicly exposed following their March 2, 2006, raid on the Standard Group. This was a bungled operation ordered on the strength of false information about an alleged story linking powerful individuals to drug trafficking in Kenya. No such story existed,” the paper stated.

In a Skype interview for the earlier KTN report, one of the brothers admitted to leading the armed, masked police raid on the media outlet, which saw journalists beaten, computers confiscated and newspapers burned.

The Artur brothers in Kenya

A leaked US Embassy cable in 2006 observed that “the presence in Kenya of armed foreigners working on behalf of ruling elements has alarmed many Kenyans, both in and out of government.”

“Despite repeated government denials, post believes foreigners were indeed directly involved in the police raids. One journalist who escaped the raids privately tells us police contacts warned him weeks earlier that foreigners had been imported to protect the First Family from public corruption charges,” read one leaked cable.

“Some believe these same foreigners played a role (via the Akasha crime family) in the 2004 cocaine shipments seized in Kenya, and have now returned to intimidate opponents (in or out of government) from releasing information incriminating State House in any illicit activities,” it added.

Whatever their real activities, the Kenyan government’s indulgence of the brothers came to an end three months after the Standard raid, when the brothers took umbrage at a request to search their bags at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and pulled guns on customs officers.

“The Arturs stormed the customs area, demanding their bags be allowed through,” reported KTN. “Customs protested, but were punched and shoved aside. The two drew pistols, forcing the officers to scamper for safety. They then left the airport.”

Travelling in and out of the country on multiple passports was “normal practice” for the brothers, KTN reported, “as was carrying guns around the city. They took over the town by storm while the government looked the other way.”

Facing international condemnation for its inaction over the pair, the Kenyan government finally suspended a number of senior police officials and ordered their arrest, KTN reported.

After a standoff at their residence, police used a vehicle to ram the gate of the compound and took the brothers into custody.

A search revealed of the residence revealed bulletproof jackets, gun holsters, CCTV and infra-red cameras, Kenyan passports in the brothers’ names, several AK-47 assault rifles, and four pistols with filed serial numbers, two of which were later found to belong to two officers of the Kenyan President’s elite escort unit who had been robbed of them at gunpoint, KTN reported.

“The men were finally kicked out of the country and disowned by state officials as ‘international criminals’,” reported the Standard.

KTN’s investigation into the ‘Untouchables’ Part One

KTN’s investigation into the ‘Untouchables’ Part Two, Three


24 thoughts on “Tourism, Defence Ministers deny involvement with “international criminals””

  1. Yup, they have now said that they are not criminal. Nobody should have iota of doubt now, that it is a fact.

  2. If the coup regime officials want the 'right thing' to be published by the media they had better tell the media the right thing. When the social media has so cleverly broke out the undercover dealing of the regime with the notorious criminals offering them resident visa for a purpose there exists no resident permit, and involving them in public activities like the motor race and stage performances. The social media won't stop the investigation here. It will go on till the right thing comes out.

  3. Of course, neither Nazim nor Adheeb had any connections with them. They just happened to run into them whilst in Hulhumale. And by sheer coincidence, the pair also ran into the Arturs during the opening of the Olympic cinema.

    The fact that these hired guns were at an event organised by the Maldives National Defence Force is also just sheer coincidence.

    Alright, that's just way too many coincidences! The fact that Yameen's young guns are rubbing shoulders with some of the world's most notorious gang leaders should not be a surprise to many of us.

    Adheeb is not very good at lying is he? The first principle of anti money laundering it due diligence. Anyone who has ever done even the most basic anti money laundering training will know that. Part of due diligence is doing background checks on your investors. I would really like to see the due diligence report on this pair that the Tourism Ministry undertook before applying for a visa for them.

    If not, then I'd ask the honourable members of the Majlis to look into this as a matter of urgency, as it involves breaches of national security.

  4. I don't believe a word Adheeb says. You think we are morons to believe that you who requested residence visas for these guys would ask them to leave for the good of the country. If Adheeb was interested in the good of the country he would not have requested visas for them.

  5. Have we considered an alternative possibility?

    Let's say these are recruits or members of an elite International Police force (possibly Russian Secret Military Police)- part of a global Anti-Narcotics branch, and they have to involve themselves in the drug-trade and weapons sale, in order to INFILTRATE these international drug and weapon trafficking criminal syndicates...

    Essentially they may be secret police who are disguised as gangsters, criminals and drug-traffickers- because this is their COVER. They need to do this, to better understand, infiltrate and get to the heart of International criminality. To establish a relationship with international criminals basically..

    They need the 'cover' this excellent journalism revamped stories also provide you see. This only adds to their disguise, their reputation, it ups their street-credit. This helps them gain the confidence of those criminal syndicates we so badly want to get rid of. And believe me their cover would be very solid now, they would be indistinguishable from the real criminals by now, because they would be in so deep..arms dealing, money-laundering, drug and human trafficking, prostitution etc... very dangerous folk meddling in equally dangerous energies..

    It is possible the Kenyan media has been paid to bloat up their stories (for above said reasons), or possibly they are unaware of this possible dimension to the story. Similarly has possibly greatly facilitated their work.. thanks.

    It is equally (possibly?) likely they have been sought by the Maldivian government (dangerous elements within?) in order to gain local reputation as dogs, and thus infiltrate local syndicates. The aim being to curb the local national drug trade in the end. This also begs the question why is 'Yameen' said to be involved in this local trade, is he doing the trade to destroy it from within? I do not believe he needs to deal drugs to remain powerful or wealthy (it's quite hilarious).

    If you want to destroy something you have to first understand it, you have to get involved in it, you have to trade with it, you have to identity possible weak-points for intrusion and then strike when the time comes (details cannot be given)..

    This is just a theory by the way, it doesn't have to be true (keke). I love the way local folk jump at every shadow. It creates such an uproar in such a once peaceful society. Yes, yes we must not forget the hidden child-abuse, the flogging, other dark arts and the turtles too... 🙂

    Mohamed Nasheed is a smart man, he is probably now working closely with the Coup Government, because he is a smart guy... sometimes you have to deal, sometimes you have to even arrange meets and talk as fellow men.. Problems can be solved without bloodshed also, Madam Dhiyana and family realized it a little too late actually (this is just an example). They have received intimidation, harassment and possible house raids from the Coup traitor-police (I have heard rumors)..

    Rumors here rumors there.. such fun..

  6. @Virendra

    Yes old fellow, you always know what is really going on. The resident of a superpower (Industan), you can better show us the way the world really works. We the wea folk from tinsy winsy MAldives- we could use your expert advice, always..../ cheers mate. fight for bharat, fight for bharat...

    People remain calm, the Powerful will not betray the people, not again atleast... they know we are 'wise' to their act now..MDP habey's

    we are teaching them all a lesson here you see, they hear, they fear the people now. Peace and prosperity can now happen....... these tyrants now know power must always be with the people. And investigative journalism will put tyranny in its rightful place.

    The people say 'we don't forgive, and we don't forget' and the powerful reply- "Ouch!"..truly

    ..Revenge is at hand.

  7. The Maldives is a super-power in hiding. How long will it take before people realize this? This can be considered an Israel in the Indian Ocean (only there are no Jews or Nobel Prizes yet). Even the Capital City escapes the prying eye's of foreign visitors. Every single one is tracked, accounted for. The recent surge of "illegal immigrants" was also created... Meanwhile the distribution of uninhabited islands have proved extremely useful to the government. THE government, not anybody else.. For our children, and our children's children. Etc- One hungama created to hide another hungama..

  8. a picture paints a thousand words. Why the hell should them ministers be scared uh dho?

  9. A company can NOT be legally registered in the Maldives without the clearance of Ministry of Defense and finally the economic Minister.

    Adeeb seems to be in the thick of it but lets not forget the negligence of the part of the Register of Companies under the Economic Minister too.

    It is the Economic Minister who is culpable first for registering a crime organization.

  10. Adeeb, Ibrahim Hussain Zaki (Ismail Waseem is a boy of Zaki), speaker Shahid, Munawar are all the gang leaders behind the curtain! Enjoy the gangster pradise! Dr. Waheed, Nasheed(Anni), Yameen, Thasmeen, Gayoom all operate and gives a blind eye and deaf ear to this coz they need these gangsters!! Let's call a spade a spade!

  11. they have not been proven in a court of law, so as per democratic value they are innocent. there can be false allegation on people. i found some google search that say they are good.

    and by the way, Nazim is not talking to them or seemingly having any contact with them from the pictures

  12. Good stuff for a small time third world version of a Mario Puzo novel.

    East European Gangsters + Ministers + Motor racing + Aircraft Carrier visit + Coup drama + gossip.

    Just perfect.

  13. The Maldives military has near eighty percent control of the drug-trade now, actually. It took ten years to achieve mission objective-reached status. Blood, sweat and families destroyed. They (gov.) will however not stop it, exigent circumstances do not allow it. yet..They have control though.

    The root of the problem also does not lie within its borders for one thing. There are also local tribal-tensions which do not quite agree on how to fully contain it (on the approach, timing etc). Again, it might not be advisable (there is high collateral for example if this is followed through). It also risks endangering high-profile external elements who are keeping an eye on it. It's control we do have (but not the way you think)..

    The Armenian brothers are ex-military very high ranking Anti-Narcotic's police officers, who are under-cover. They were out here on loan to help us sort out some stuff. The noise, and ruckus created was deliberate, and the objective has been achieved.

    It is the lack of information which sometimes, creates and invites "evil". The public needs to be better informed, yet not all information can always be provided. In such situations the public must rise to the occasion, and demonstrate their own intelligence- and exercise restraint. Demanding answers and accountability is always welcome. It cannot come every time though.

    Peace to the mother-land..

  14. Adeeb said: "I believe, I believe..I am innocent like a baby..I believe"
    Adeeb said: "I believe, you know..I am not that type of macha, I believe this is to black face, I believe.."
    Adeeb said: "I believe, I never visited brothels in Colombo..I believe I am very good baby"

  15. Maldives need money and the only way to get money in to Maldives is black money. Why you guys are worrying about their back ground, you must praise Nazim and Adheeb to attract billions black money in to otherwise penal colony no sane person will invest.

  16. It is likely that these are the fellas that spent tons of money on the Olympus theater's refurbishment. The government does not want to disclose the people who had provided financial assistance on this project. Government had simply said that the project was completed with the assistance of well-wishers. The money spent by the "well-wishers" would inevitably be a quid-pro-quo arrangement; meaning that if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. As such, the government would be obliged to succumb to the demands of whoever these well-wishers were.

    Incidentally, the infamous Arthur Bros. were recently seen attending the inauguration function of the Olympus theater. They were also seen accompanying our Tourism Minister Baby Adheeb and the Defence Minister Mr Nazim on the youth racing event that was recently held at Hulhumale'. Hence, it can be deduced with certainty that, there is a connection between the Arthur Brothers and some elements of the current government's machinery.

    I think it would only be wise for the parliament to find out who and who funded the refurbishment of the Olympus theater. Had it been a Maldivian or a Maldivian company, they would only be too glad to have their names mentioned or recognized at the inauguration ceremony. Why would they want their names to be discreet and have their assistance to the government clandestine. Surely, it is not a humanitarian effort to keep their names under wraps and as such, they would not be interested in seeking brownie points from God on the day of judgement!

  17. naveen said it well. let's call a spade a spade. something alot of maldivians dont know to say.

  18. Like Warner Bro, perhaps the idea was to rename Olympus 'Artur brothers'....

    .. after wining the election of course.

  19. Why did they get complimentary from a resort run by MTDC and why all the invitations? So even a child can see the connection.

  20. Adheeb Minister says he met the Atur brothers only in Hulhumale' and that he has no links with them. Well, the Minister may not remember that he met them at Olympus cinema opening night. The Minister may not remember that he had signed a letter that was sent to the Immigration requesting to give the brothers a 5-year visa to stay in the Maldives. Minister Adheeb may also not remember that he had written a letter to Economic Ministry supporting the brothers to get a license to register a company in the Maldives.

    And Defense Minister Nazim says he doesn't know them and has never heard of them and that he knew about them only through social media. Minister Nazim had totally forgotten that he was seated with the Atur brothers during a car racing event in Hulhumale' and that he had chatted with them. Although Minister Nazim remembered that the Defense force played a major role in rennovating Olympus cinema, he had totally forgotten that the Atur brothers who were present with him on the red carpet on the night of the grand reopening of Olympus. Although the Maldives' Police had already informed the relevant authorities of the Maldives with regard to the presence of Atur brothers in the Maldives, Minister Nazim had no idea that his Ministry of Defense which also managed the Maldives Immigration was a very relevant authority that the Police would call with regard to their investigations of Atur brothers.

    I wonder why the Maldivian government maintain and protect such forgetful people who are placed at such high profile jobs, jobs that are very important when it comes to safeguarding our nation, from corruption, from drug trafficking,smuggling, money laundering, illegal arms trade etc, all things that are known to be part of the Atur legacy and their business elsewhere in the world.

  21. @Ex Defense Arc

    surely you jest!.. and on what basis are you providing this information?? This is a national security matter because of what you have implied! (maybe I'm confused)...

    This is not the way brother (we will find you). so that we can 'talk' okay... still it matters not (probably cos it's April Fool's day this article was published and thou commented). An outrage I tell you. And if our people are helped because of such 'information' well and good, but this will give many "higher-gods" a many sleepless nights for many, many years to come.. (hehe).

    Keep up the good work (minivannews).
    Thank you. It is always a pleasure reading articles here, and commenting.

  22. @Genius boy

    Maybe you !can! find me (I know). The training of the system from within can perhaps tell me then how to evade finding me as well. I must be quite far away by now if you know what I mean. Whoever you are I'm just kidding (brilliant theory eh). I just meant this also has to be considered alright?

    Besides how do the readers know those very people, or government did not 'instruct' me to come here and write this comment (strategically). It also begs the question how safe are you then?.... The April fool coincidence fits very well into this, that itself was a coincidence as your 'genius' brain has already elucidated by now.

    It nonetheless gives people just the right edge, the right push to think for themselves I think, sets the milieu or conditions just right to awaken their senses, to analyze for themselves. Is that not what you yourself tell me? (I think, i think I know who you may be brother). I mean, is the bullcock story I have written having any truth or not?? let the fools decide okies.. I'm high by the way (thanks to those undercover missions okies)...

    I;'m just playing your mind game here maybe ennu. I am intrigued in the way some nerd has responded pretending to be official actually (keke)... why so serious?..........

    Democracy must be a good thing, now people know (and I would say my timing, which I took into consideration, was just right)- it will not do much harm.. sleepless nights (lol), yeah..

    As they taught me (did you or your hidden-god's train me that way?)- always count on the stupidity of people, they will ultimately believe any story that which has no basis of truth in it, and they will reject the actual 'truths' or the real story beind every lie or event...

    That's the nature of gossip, that's the nature of Man the animal, that is the nature of spin-coverage etc... truth always fails (I remember that from Dhivehi Spy School). This 'failure of truth' can be counted upon, it is very dependable (it allows us to work actually). I wonder what else people are ready to hear; I've got loads of shit...

    It may have been a righteous government after all, and yet people also have grievances as clearly evident, they are adequately highlighting what reforms the government must take to effect, in order for the 'Dhivehi People' (AND NO ONE ELSE) to be satisfied and not suffer anymore. With their government or otherwise.. And I think we will learn from that. That of course doesn't mean Nasheed can come back to power of course (that's just inconceivable to people like you)...I'm just agreeing with the crowd here with that last statement in the bracket, by the way..

    And I can also confirm that the Anni Entity is very close to the Coup regime by now, he has actually lost interest in politics, I'm not kidding (he seeks an amicable retirement acceptable to both sides). You already would know this... This does not mean he will not contest elections, not at all. It does however mean he would take a second option if it at all materializes (he considers this at a very high level in fact). Who the fook must I be to state things "in fact" eih??....

    He will not betray the MDP alliance though, he is just bored of the noise, the sleepless nights, the welfare of his two children etc, etc- and he wants to retire to Europe in the end (possibly?)... This spells very well for Mariya-the-Shakira, this also we know. And does anybody notice her considerable European style wardrobe? Every time a new dress, and I mean every time! (we have whole album's understand).... she does want people to notice her attire more than anything, you see....A real sweetheart nonetheless. We have utmost respect for madam....

    Part of the reason why Nasheed lingers is because the movement has become considerable and they need his leadership (plus other reason cannot state). He is though not at all happy with the electorate, the MDP, his aides, on many levels, etc, etc. His temper can best explain these things maybe (it's all that alcohol I tell you)... He wants more power (and more) OR no power at all, basically. very Simple... He will not have things other people's ways, not even MDP can claim anything above and over his majesty...

    It's his nature (was probably fed a lot of breast milk as an infant we presume)...No disrespect to the old man though- why(?) Because disrespect to him would mean disrespect to a whole section of our population. This is why the rest of us tolerate him.. no other many reasons.. this can explain Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom's personal attitude towards Anni in private also. It is by the way "extremely dangerous" to quote H.E Maumoon in any context anywhere- you can quote me. Even I will take up arms if that happens..

    Understand what I have said here (very complicated sh!t I tell you), or at least try. There is the issue of the junta-leader I.H.Zaki also (the unmentionable name in eveery context,yes, we know)... A fool nonethelss.. This will really scare Mariya IF she stumbles across this message 'somehow' by the way..

    I could go on.. (mwahaha).....

    Part of the reason he remains is also to secure his interests abroad and in Maldives (many business interests). When it is safe for him and his 'group', he will leave behind even MDP. I guarantee this...And we hear his own age is also a relevant factor to him, himself (Anni feels he has contributed enough, and wants to travel the world now, maybe write a book etc He is past forty now- and after so many years of this he is sh!t mad..blah blahhh)..He is just not willing to abandon his people, not yet at least..

    .... there I have shared another conspiracy theory again. Hope you don't mind. Yeah I can hear the guillotine approach my neck at break-neck speed...But you see I am really far away (I wonder...).

    And 'Peace to the mother-land' yeah!;. (that was really quick b-tw)..

    .. t c


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