In the 2008 yearly financial report issued by the Estonian GILD Arbitrage Risk Capital Fund, the company says that it has invested 20 million Euros in Armenia. According to the report, the company has invested in Armenia’s mining sector via Melorama Holding Ltd., registered in Cyprus. This firm has registered several subsidiary holdings in Armenia that have also acquired mines and performed mining studies. The report claims that it has spent 20 million Euros for such operations.
The question now before us is which specific mines has this off-shore company purchased and why has the Armenian public not been informed about the alleged sale of Armenia’s natural resources, in essence national property, to a foreign concern.
According to the RoA National Statistics Service, Cypriot direct investment in Armenia during 2008 amounted to $10 million. However, this amount has no connection to the investments made in the mining sector.
In response to our inquiry, the government has declared that, “Melorama Holding Ltd. does not appear in the list of those companies duly registered as operating in the mining sector of the RoA.”
One of our Estonian journalism colleagues severely questions whether such investments have actually been made. It cannot be ruled out but it is more likely that in 2008 a few Armenian gold mines were sold to this off-shore company.
This would signify that the RoA government has seen not one penny as a result of this transaction.
We now ask – who owned the exploratory or operational licenses for these mines?
Who were those government officials that gave the go-ahead for the sale?
Answers to these questions will be soon in coming.