Ex-chief bailiff Mihran Poghosyan declared wanted on embezzlement, abuse of power charges
YEREVAN, APRIL 15, ARMENPRESS. The Special Investigative Service (SIS) of Armenia has charged former Armenian lawmaker and former Chief Compulsory Officer of Judicial Acts (chief bailiff) Mihran Poghosyan with embezzlement and abuse of power.
The SIS said it has also revealed instances of cronyism under Poghosyan’s tenure as chief bailiff. According to the SIS, while serving as Chief Compulsory Officer of Judicial Acts (CCOJA) in 2008 Poghosyan hired his bodyguard and personal chauffer as first class advisor and senior advisor respectively at one of CCOJA’s departments. But the hiring was simply a formality as the two did not fulfill their official duties but were nevertheless awarded salaries, amounting to a total of nearly 45 million drams.
The SIS said Poghosyan also used his powers to promote his own business activities.
Poghosyan allegedly arranged for a CCOJA procurement of vehicles to be carried out from Catherine Group, his own business. Moreover, the SIS said the prices of the vehicles were exaggerated. The money involved amounts more than 200,000,000 drams.
The SIS said in 2011 Poghosyan founded two companies (Hopkinten Trading Incorporated, Sigtem Real Estate Incorporated) in Panama through foreign citizens and in October of the same year people from his own entourage were appointed executives, instead of foreign national directors.
Poghosyan then participated in managing the companies in the Panama offshore zone, and as a result the latter founded other companies in Armenia, including the Best Realty LLC.
The SIS said Poghosyan then signed a contract between CCOJAF and Best Realty on real estate and property assessment services. Around 44,000,000 was paid from the state budget to the company.
The SIS filed a motion to court requesting an arrest warrant and declaring Poghosyan wanted.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan