By Emil Danielyan
Armenia’s foreign ministry has denied continuing reports that a British resident convicted in one of the United Kingdom’s biggest ever cases of fake currency smuggling is an Armenian national.
David Levin, a 36-year-old resident of a town in Worcestershire, western England, has been identified by the British authorities and media as “an Armenian” since being found guilty last April of conspiracy to import and distribute millions of counterfeit U.S. dollars.
A London court convicted Levin and two UK nationals of being the key members of the British ring of a worldwide criminal network which is allegedly responsible for smuggling $28 million of rogue currency. The gang, arrested two years ago, was said to have bought forged $100 bills from dealers in Moscow and brought them into Britain with the help of the Irish Republican Army -- a militant group that has for decades campaigned against British rule in Northern Ireland.
“That person has never had any connection with Armenia,” an official in the Armenian embassy in London said of Levin on Thursday. “He is not an Armenian citizen,” Jud Galstian told RFE/RL by phone.
Galstian said the embassy conveyed that information, confirmed by the foreign ministry in Yerevan, to British law-enforcement officials and journalists after being contacted by them earlier this year. He could not comment on possible reasons why Levin has been presented as an Armenian.
Levin was still referred to as an Armenian national in some British media reports as recently as last week. He is expected to be given a prison sentence later this month.