The history of criminal events: 13 June

On 13 June 1907, the infamous Tiflis Bank Robbery or the Erivansky Square expropriation, took place.

On 13 (26) June 1907, in Tiflis, a treasury stagecoach was robbed while transporting money from the post office to the Tiflis branch of the State Bank of the Russian Empire by a Bolshevik terrorist organization under the leadership of S.A. Ter-Petrosyan (Kamo). 340 thousand roubles were stolen, that is equivalent to more than 5 million US dollars. The operation was successful, but it did not produce the expected result: the numbers of all 500-rouble banknotes «expropriated» for the needs of the revolution were known to the authorities.

At about 10 o’clock, the cashier of the State Bank Kurdyumov and the accountant Golovnya, having received 250,000 roubles at the post office,went to the bank. They were accompanied by two guards and five Cossacks on two phaetons. At 11 o’clock, the treasury transport vehicle was bombed and shot while passing through Erivansky square. All the money was stolen.

During the robbery, two policemen were killed, three Cossacks were mortally wounded, two Cossacks and one guard were wounded. 16 bystanders were injured. All participants in the robbery managed to escape, avoiding arrest.

The leader of the terrorist organization was Koba (as Stalin was then called). He didn’t personally participate in the robberies, but nothing happened without his knowledge.

100,000 roubles of the stolen money were in large 500-rouble banknotes. Their numbers were known and transferred to Russian and European banks. Therefore, several people were detained while trying to change money. Thus, on 4 January 1908, the Bolshevik Maxim Litvinov and his mistress Frida Yampolskaya were detained in Paris with expropriated money. During the search, Litvinov was found to have twelve 500-rouble banknotes from among the stolen in Tiflis. Litvinov and Yampolskaya were exiled from France to Great Britain.

In Munich, while changing money, Sarra Ravich and two Armenians were detained: Tigran Baghdasaryan (Konstantin Zaryan) and Mihran Khodamiryants (Armen Bekzadyan). In August 1908, Lenin wrote a letter to the secretary of the International Socialist Bureau, Kamil Huysman, asking him to officially confirm that these three prisoners were members of the RSDLP. It was necessary for their protection.

In January 1908 in Stockholm with the «Tiflis» money, was detained Yan Masters (Yanis Strauyan). At first, he was convicted of being an accessory to the robbery. However, after an appeal, as it was not proven that Masters knew about the origin of the banknotes, the Swedish Court of Appeal sentenced him to six months in prison for theft.

Kamo was arrested in November 1907 in Germany. During the search, weapons and explosives were found in his possession. He spent several years in German and Russian prisons until he managed to escape.

Interestingly, the robbery was committed a few weeks after the end of the London Congress of the RSDLP, which adopted a resolution prohibiting expropriations. All the money seized as a result of the robbery went to the disposal of V.I. Lenin’s group to the Bolshevik center. The money was delivered to Finland personally by Kamo.

On 13 June 1986, the singer, actor, political and public figure Dean Reed died. His body was found dead in the lake Zeuthener See in Potsdam near the house where he lived with his wife, the famous GDR actress Renate Blume. It was initially announced that he had drowned. Later, due to the study of the case documents, taken from the archives of the secret law enforcement service of East Germany, the Stasi, it was announced that Dean Reed had committed suicide. In the act of forensic medical examination, as a result of the autopsy of the corpse, a tablet of a powerful sleeping pill was found in the stomach. It had not completely dissolved. Among the documents was found Dean Reed’s suicide note. He wrote it shortly before leaving home. In this note he blamed his wife for his death. As it was established, that evening Renata Blume arranged another family scandal for Dean Reed. Dean Reed called life with her an endless torment. Originally, Dean Reed was buried at the Rauchfangswerder Cemetery in Berlin. In 1991, at the request of the family, the urn with his ashes was reburied at the Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder, the United States.

Based on Wikipedia

President of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists

Igor M. Matskevich

Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova 



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