At yesterday’s trial of Armenia’ biggest drug bust to date, one of the two men charged in attempting to smuggle 850 kilos of heroin into Armenia from Iran by truck on January 17, 2014, testified that he was offered US$ 1000,000 for the job but that he refused.
This is what Osman Oğurlu, a Turkish citizen who is accused of organizing the transport of the aforementioned quantity of drugs to Turkey via Armenia in cahoots with two brothers, also Turkish citizens, told the Syunik Regional Court in Goris yesterday.
Oğurlu, who heads Hovo Logistica, the company that had leased the truck in question, testified that he was told about a secret compartment built into the floor of the truck trailer but that Moustafa and Ismail Nargez (the two brothers who had leased the truck) told him it contained sand.
The defendant added that he knew the Nargez brothers, who were also in the cargo business, and that he was aware that Moustafa Nargez had also been involved in drug smuggling.
“I knew that he had been involved in the past, but he didn’t while working with me,” Oğurlu, said.
Oğurlu testified that he gave a spare set of truck keys to a man called Nasir who told him that he had to do some repair work on the truck. Two days later, when the truck was returned, Oğurlu was informed about the secret compartment; first to transport sand, and later heroin.
Earlier in court, Hrach Hakobyan, defense attorney for Avtandil Martiashvili, the Georgian citizen who was driving the truck when it was stopped and examined at the Meghri customs house, requested that all charges against his client be dropped due to lack of ‘corpus delicti’ and that he be released from pre-trial detention.
State Prosecutor Armen Panosyan objected to the motion and presiding judge Davit Grigoryan stated that he would review the motion in chambers.
Photo: Osman Oğurlu