Syunik Provincial Governor (Marzpet) Sourik Khachatryan is a classic example of how one becomes a billionaire overnight in Armenia.
The only problem is the dubious sources of this controversial official’s riches.
Let’s take a look at his financial disclosure statements for the period 2008 to 2011.
His annual salary as Marzpet amounted to around 3 million AMD.
Now here’s the kicker. In 2012, Khachatryan declared 7.2 billion AMD in revenues. 2.1 million was in the form of wages and 7 billion stemmed from the sale of shares.
At the beginning of 2012, he purchased 4 billion in stock and sold the shares for 7 billion at year’s end, making a tidy profit of 3 billion. He must have some wunderkind as a financial advisor.
The question staring us in the face is where did he get the 4 billion in the first place? The guy only declared 2.359 million in revenues, all salary, in 2011.
And this isn’t the only puzzling aspect of his finances. He declared zero bank deposits for 2011. The following year, his cash deposits shot up to 2.5 billion AMD and $1 million.
According to a 1997 presidential decree, provincial governors cannot hold other offices or engage in commercial business operations other than teaching, scientific or creative activities.
Perhaps Provincial Governor Khachatryan wrote a New Times bestseller that we never heard about. He might have written it under a pen name.
Stranger things have been known to happen here in Armenia.