French investigators are looking for a missing millionaire in Moscow

An investigation into the disappearance of Garik Basmadzhyan in the Russian capital 25 years ago resumed in Paris. The billionaire's collection of paintings worth $ 100 million is still in the Hermitage.
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In Moscow, he flew a group of investigators from the French criminal police, who with the help of Russian colleagues and lawyers intend to restore the circumstances of the mysterious disappearance of the summer of 1989 in the capital of the famous art dealer and a French millionaire Garik Basmadzhyana. Then the businessman at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR brought a unique collection of paintings for the exhibition in the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery, worth more than $ 100 million. During business negotiations, he disappeared in Moscow, and the collection is still in the vaults of the Hermitage. Recently in France, he was arrested a native of the USSR, the criminal authority Alexander Podlesny, which police believe involved in the disappearance Basmadzhyana. In connection with this, and it resumed the investigation of this case.

French detectives are in Moscow as part of an international treaty on legal assistance. Criminal cases of disappearance in July 1989 Garik Basmadzhyana were initiated in Paris and Moscow, and an investigation is on them so far. It is in this case in 1990, the investigator of the Prosecutor General of the USSR was still operative and the Ministry of Interior for the first time went to the official teamsRovkov to France, there to interrogate witnesses and collect possible evidence. In addition to the official law enforcement agencies, the investigation into the disappearance of Garik Basmadzhyana in Moscow on behalf of his family engaged private detectives and lawyers.

- On behalf of the sisters Basmadzhyana I conducted its own investigation, but later she refused my services, - told "Izvestiya" city attorney Karen Nersisyan. - I recently met with the French investigators who arrived in Moscow. They were interested in the investigation, which I led, and they were asked to give them the materials.

The new interest in the history due to the fact that recently appeared in the first person involved - in France, was arrested a native of the USSR, the former boxer Alexander Podlesny. Police believe that he had a direct relation to the disappearance of an art dealer. Ostensibly it Podlesny was at the wheel "Lada", in which the last time sit in Moscow Basmadzhyan.

About Podlesny it is known that he was born in 1959 in Magadan, and in 1976 he was first convicted - for rape. Subsequently, he pI obtain a new term for a fight. In the late 1980s Podlesny moved to Moscow and joined to one of the criminal gangs. In early 1990, he immigrated to Israel, where went to Canada. In 1992 Podlesny caught the robbery and murder in Toronto, 35-year-old local jeweler Michael Kleinberg, who had stolen jewelry at $ 3.5 million. The court found guilty of Russian mobsters and gave him 16 years in prison.

When the French police, there is evidence that Podlesny was involved in the disappearance of Basmadzhyana in Moscow, the Canadian authorities sent a request for his extradition.

- Recently Podlesny was released in Canada and France, he was handed over to the police - told "Izvestia" lawyer Karen Nersisyan. - In my investigation, he also appeared, but then I found no evidence linking him to the disappearance Basmadzhyana.

Garik Basmadzhyan was born in Jerusalem in 1947, and in the mid-1960s moved to their historical homeland - in Yerevan. There he studied at the local university, where he met his future wife, a citizen of France. In 1977 they went to live in Paris. BasmadYang began to collect paintings by Russian and Soviet artists by buying their emigrants and collectors, and soon became the owner of one of the largest thematic meetings in Europe.

In July 1989, 41-year-old Garik Basmadzhyan once again flew to the Soviet Union. Shortly before that, at the request of the Ministry of Culture at the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery exhibited his collection, so he came to solve the question of export of exhibits in France. July 28 businessman arrived in Moscow, where he planned to hold talks with collectors and buy them 20 paintings. He stopped in a room of hotel "Russia". The next day the businessman met in the room with their compatriots from Armenia, but soon he was someone called and summoned to the street. Near the entrance to the hotel Basmadzhyan sat in the dark "Lada", after which it has never seen again. French investigators believe was Podlesny, who planned to rob him in the car.

According to another version, which stated Nersisyan lawyer shortly before the disappearance Garik Basmadzhyan engaged in trade of computers thatnd then I bring super-profits, and killed one of the partners.

Among the working versions also suggested that a millionaire has become a victim of inadvertent conflict - it is known that he was very impulsive and could easily with someone quarrel.

With regard to the collection Basmadzhyana, which is now estimated in the $ 300 million, it is still in the vaults of the Hermitage. Her fate remains uncertain, because it is still unknown whether the owner is alive or not, it's gone missing or been murdered. Depending on this, it can claim his sister or wife with children.