Friday, 21 September

New Twist in Off-Shore Scandal: Did AmeriaBank Pocket $600,000 Kick-Back?



Part 1Part 2, Part 3

 “Global Carat Ltd. has a license to operate diamond and gold mines in Sierra Leone. The total area of the mines it now operates is some 810 hectares, with 10,000 tons of gold reserves and 9.6 million carats of diamonds lying ten meters underground,” so reads a section of the Dzoragyugh Production Cooperative’s business plan.

The original business plan is held by AmeriaBank, which drafted the document at the request of the diamond merchant Ashot Sukiasyan.  He paid $6,000 for it.

The real purpose of the business plan, however, was to allow AmeriaBank to loan Sukiasyan $12 million and make it all look above-board.

The plan harkens back to the days of the California Gold Rush. AmeriaBank lent Sukiasyan all those millions so that he could travel to Sierra Leone, scoop up all those gold and diamond reserves lying a mere ten meters underground, and bring the goodies back to Armenia.

So why did AmeriaBank, in the business plan it drew up, reveal the fact that all this potential wealth was buried a mere ten meters underground? Why didn’t the bank directors grab a few shovels and pickaxes, borad a plane to Sierra Leone, and dig the gold and diamonds up themselves?

The Main Criminal Department of the Armenian Police has interrogated Gagik Sahakyan, a member of the bank’s Management Board – Corporate Banking Director, who dealt with the Sukiasyan loan. What they asked and what Sukiasyan did or did not answer is still unknown.

Surprisingly, investigators haven’t got around to question Artak Hanesyan, (Chairman of the Management Board-General Director), or Board Member Andrey Mkrtchyan.

All three bank officials were directly involved in the offshore loan story and are ultimately responsible for what transpired.

Months ago, businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan provided Hetq with a piece of information we weren’t sure how to present to our readers.

After reviewing the business plan and loan story, it is clear that certain AmeriaBank managers had a vested interest in seeing that the loan would be “written off”.

The plan states: “...Recently, Dzoragyugh Ltd. has participated greatly in the operations of Global Carat, engaged in gold and diamond mining in Sierra Leone...”, “...The company has established commercial relations with the USA, European countries, and India. In 2008, Dzoragyugh expanded its interests in the mining sector and gained the attention of Global Karat Ltd...”

How the above false information found its way into the business plan only AmeriaBank can say. There is plenty of such doctored information in the plan. So why did AmeriaBank see fit to invent it all in the first place?

Based on the business plan it drew up, AmeriaBank lent out $10.7 million and Dzoragyugh Ltd. assumed the obligation to decide when and how to spend it.

AmeriaBank failed to monitor how the money was actually being spent. This oversight on their part hasn’t prevented AmeriaBank from continuing to sell off Paylak Hayrapetyan’s property that was used as collateral.

AmeriaBank management turned a blind eye just in order to issue the loan and to see to it that the money was quickly spent.

Paylak Hayrapetyan relates that when he asked Ashot Sukiasyan what he had done with the loan, the latter started to make a list – “...I gave the bank 5% of the loan as a kickback.”

That’s a tidy sum of $600,000.

I don’t know if law enforcement has as yet launched a criminal investigation into this matter, but after reading this article they are obliged to.

(Photo, left to right: Artak Hanesyan, Andrey Mkrtchyan, Gagik Sahakyan)

 “Global Carat Ltd. has a license to operate diamond and gold mines in Sierra Leone. The total area of the mines it now operates is some 810 hectares, with 10,000 tons of gold reserves and 9.6 million carats of diamonds lying ten meters underground,” so reads a section of the Dzoragyugh Production Cooperative’s business plan.

The original business plan is held by AmeriaBank, which drafted the document at the request of the diamond merchant Ashot Sukiasyan.  He paid $6,000 for it.

The real purpose of the business plan, however, was to allow AmeriaBank to loan Sukiasyan $12 million and make it all look above-board.

The plan harkens back to the days of the California Gold Rush. AmeriaBank lent Sukiasyan all those millions so that he could travel to Sierra Leone, scoop up all those gold and diamond reserves lying a mere ten meters underground, and bring the goodies back to Armenia.

So why did AmeriaBank, in the business plan it drew up, reveal the fact that all this potential wealth was buried a mere ten meters underground? Why didn’t the bank directors grab a few shovels and pickaxes, borad a plane to Sierra Leone, and dig the gold and diamonds up themselves?

The Main Criminal Department of the Armenian Police has interrogated Gagik Sahakyan, a member of the bank’s Management Board – Corporate Banking Director, who dealt with the Sukiasyan loan. What they asked and what Sukiasyan did or did not answer is still unknown.

Surprisingly, investigators haven’t got around to question Artak Hanesyan, (Chairman of the Management Board-General Director), nor Board Member Andrey Mkrtchyan.

All three bank officials were directly involved in the offshore loan story and are ultimately responsible for what transpired.

Months ago, businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan provided Hetq with a piece of information we weren’t sure how to present to our readers.

After reviewing the business plan and loan story, it is clear that certain AmeriaBank managers had a vested interest in seeing that the loan would be “written off”.

The plan states: “...Recently, Dzoragyugh Ltd. has participated greatly in the operations of Global Carat, engaged in gold and diamond mining in Sierra Leone...”, “...The company has established commercial relations with the USA, European countries, and India. In 2008, Dzoragyugh expanded its interests in the mining sector and gained the attention of Global Karat Ltd...”

How the above false information found its way into the business plan only AmeriaBank can say. There is plenty of such doctored information in the plan. So why did AmeriaBank see fit to invent it all in the first place?

Based on the business plan it drew up, AmeriaBank lent out $10.7 million and Dzoragyugh Ltd. assumed the obligation to decide when and how to spend it.

AmeriaBank failed to monitor how the money was actually being spent. This oversight on their part hasn’t prevented AmeriaBank from continuing to sell off Paylak Hayrapetyan’s property that was used as collateral.

AmeriaBank management turned a blind eye just in order to issue the loan and to see to it that the money was quickly spent.

Paylak Hayrapetyan relates that when he asked Ashot Sukiasyan what he had done with the loan, the latter started to make a list – “...I gave the bank 5% of the loan as a kickback.”

That’s a tidy sum of $600,000.

I don’t know if law enforcement has as yet launched a criminal investigation into this matter, but after reading this article they are obliged to.

(Photo, left to right: Artak Hanesyan, Andrey Mkrtchyan, Gagik Sahakyan)


Home page


See also

more news



Leave a comment
Thank you for your comment. Your comment must be confirmed by the administration.

Latest news

All news

Archive