In May and June of this year, a group called “No to Injustice in the Army” circulated statements alleging that frozen buffalo meat from India has shown up at army mess tables in Artsakh.
According to Army Depot Lieutenant-Colonel Hovhannes Sargsyan, a member of the group, and former Armen Gabrielyan, a former serviceman in the Defense Army, an investigative committee found that the frozen meat was being served instead of locally produced beef at Military Unit 2 in Martuni (Artsakh) in June of last year.
In their circulated statement, the group writes that when the committee noticed that soldiers were refusing to eat their meals, the members began to suspect something. A study revealed that the meat being served was not fresh and weren’t local, and that in fact it was frozen Indian buffalo meat.
The civic group has sent their allegations to RA President Serzh Sargsyan, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan and other top military officials and agencies.
They note that Gegham Harutyunyan, President of the Social Council attached to the Defense Minister, who headed the investigative committee, never relayed his findings to RA Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan.
In its statement, the group calls on government officials to immediately put a halt to the practice of serving meals comprised of cheap frozen Indian meat to the soldiers, especially when the defense budget has funded the use of locally produced fresh meat.
The group says that Gegham Harutyunyan is in cahoots with army meat suppliers and that other members of the investigative committee are fully aware of the financial hanky-panky.
The group also urged the Ministry of Defense to launch its own investigation into the matter.
It seems to have partially paid off. Meri Sargsyan who works at the Investigative Service of the Defense Ministry says that last month a military prosecutor inspection team visited the Main Depot of the Artsakh Defense Forces and subsequently launched a criminal case of fraud with intent to acquire the property of others. No arrests have yet been made.
Hetq has attempted to reach Gegham Harutyunyan by phone but he isn’t answering our calls. He was appointed chief of the petitions/complaints examination committee during the spring conscription.
We have also written to RA Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan on the matter and are awaiting his reply.