When I first wrote about Bishop Abraham Mkrtchyan’s link to the three hydro-electric power stations in the village of Hermon, Hetq was besieged with comments.
Many came to the rescue of Bishop Mkrtchyan, Primate of the Vayots Dzor Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, arguing that the clergyman couldn’t possibly have any commercial interests in local electricity generation.
Tatev Artzrouni, coordinator of the Syunik Benevolent Organization, also responded, assuring me that the Elegis plant belonged to them and was constructed by a German company. (Elegis once operated two plants in Hermon).
It’s now time to add a degree of reality to the issue by presenting some facts.
The Syunik Social Benevolent Organization was registered in 2004. The founders were Garik Shahgaldyan, Mayis Mkrtchyan and Gevorg Mkrtchyan (see image below). Let’s look at the names in order.
We’ll deal with Garik Shahgaldyan later on.
Mayis Mkrtchyan, as readers of the original article will recall, is the brother of Bishop Mkrtchyan.
And Gevorg Mkrtchyan is...That’s right, he’s Bishop Abraham; Gevorg is his pre-ordination first name.
In addition, Gevorg Mkrtchyan, as many of the commentators also stated, is the founder of the “Gitelik College” in Yeghegnadzor (see below document).
So, it turns out that Bishop Mkrtchyan actually does have links to the hydro-plants despite his claims to the contrary.
There another interesting fact about the Syunik Benevolent Organization.
Because there is no farm equipment to be found in Hermon, a village with 136 hectares of cultivable land, the organization, in its mission of benevolence, has stepped into the breach and is hiring out its harvesting services to the residents.
The price list (see below) is conveniently affixed to the village municipality’s bulletin board.
For instance, village farmers can get one hectare of land tilled for 14,000 AMD. The organization also advertises that it will reap one hectare of land for 30,000 AMD.
As to the Mkrtchyans’ other business ventures, let us note that Mayis Mkrtchyan also participated in the Karagloukh hydro-plant registered to the Hermon MAD Ltd. The plant was quickly sold to Ost-el Ltd.
According to Karagloukh Mayor Artour Stepanyan, construction of the hydro-plant consumed 7 hectares of village land.
“When they laid the pipes they destroyed the entire area,” Stepanyan told Hetq.
Mayis Mkrtchyan also owns interests in the companies “Getnough hek” and “Lernayin hek”. It wouldn’t surprise us if these companies were to build hydro-plants in the near future.
We’ll cover the other business ventures of the Mkrtchyans in upcoming articles.