Friday, 22 November

Selective Amnesia? Armenian Renaissance Party Head’s Financial Omissions and Offshore Links

Artur Baghdasaryan, president of the Armenian Renaissance party and a former secretary of the National Security Council, seems to have suffered a bout of amnesia when filling out his financial disclosure, to be filed with the Central Electoral Commission, as a candidate for Armenia’s new parliament that will be decided based on the April 2 election.

Baghdasaryan forgot to include the companies he holds shares in.

He forgot to mention that he owns a 100% stake in Gaveks Group Ltd., which founded the H3 television company. Due to this convenient memory slip, Baghdasaryan also concealed revenues he received from Hayasi Group Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaveks, that produces brandy.

Baghdasaryan’s name as a shareholder in Hayasi Group appeared until 2010. His stake in the company was then transferred to Donthard Holdings Ltd., registered in Cyprus.

According to the Cyprus Corporate Registry, one of the directors of Donthard is Karen Sargsyan, the son of Baghdasaryan’s longtime political ally Heghine Bisharyan. Donthard is now owned by NCA Investments Ltd. registered in the British Virgin Islands.

In July 2013, when Hetq broke the story about the offshore holdings of then Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan, Artur Baghdasaryan decided to cleanse the brandy plant from any offshore links, transferring his shares to Gaveks Group.

What Baghdasaryan did declare for 2016-2017, was 4.8 million AMD in wages from the European Educational Regional Academy, and 5.4 million AMD from the French University in Armenia. He declared 12 million AMD, US$20,000, and 3 million Russian Rubles in cash.

This February, at an Armenian Renaissance party conference, Heghine Bisharyan noted:

“We have no links to any offshore dealings. This is what makes us different. Working in coalition with the regime, we served the people. Our Artur Baghdasaryan is educated. No one can tell him what to do.”

Bisharyan is also running for the parliament on the Armenian Renaissance party ticket.

Photo: Heghine Bisharyan, Artur Baghdasaryan

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