Tuesday, 21 November

Bulgarian Businesses and Real Estate Owned by Armenian Officials and Their Relatives


Global Financial Integrity, a non-profit Washington, DC-based research and consulting organization, which periodically produces high-caliber reports of illicit financial flowsfrom developing countries, stated, in 2015, that from 2004-2013, US$ 9.8 billion was illegally taken out of Armenia.

According to Armenia’s National Statistical Service, the country's external debt increased from $1.2 billion to $3.8 billion in the same period, and, according to official forecasts, this figure will reach $5.4 billion by the end of this year.

Amounts removed from Armenia show up in other countries in the form of business investments, real estate acquisition, bank transfers, and other schemes. While we do not claim that the facts below are examples of illicit financial flows, we show, however, that Armenian officials and their relatives have amassed huge fortunes in different countries. This story is only about Bulgaria.

A number of Armenian officials and their relatives have acquired real estate in Bulgaria during the past few years. Some entered business, not only holding executive positions in companies, but also becoming their owners.

Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union since 2007 and, according to its legislation, those who are not Bulgarian or EU citizens, as well as non-residents of the country, who acquire real estate in Bulgaria, have to register in BULSTAT (a unified national administrative register that is kept by the Registry Agency at the Ministry of Justice). There is also a specific trade registry only for entrepreneurs.

We have studied these two registers, and discovered many Armenian names. We have also found names of Armenian officials and their associates. Here, we present stories about some of these officials and their relatives.

Before getting to the stories, let's note that out of the countries of the former USSR,the representatives of Russia, Ukraine and Armenia (both legal and physical persons) are the most numerous in the above-mentioned registers.

Investing in Bulgaria
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Gagik Tsarukyan, His Wife and Friend

Gagik Tsarukyan, a 60-year-old MP in Armenia’s National Assembly, was a well-known businessman even before he entered politics. In 1998, he founded Multi Group Concern, which includes many companies. Since 2003, he has been an MP, and in 2004 he founded the Prosperous Armenia Party. In 2011-2015, he was a member of the National Security Council of Armenia. Tsarukyan is also an athlete - an arm-wrestler. He’s been the president of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia since 2004.

One can find the names of Gagik Tsarukyan, his wife Javahir Tsarukyan, and his friend Sedrak Arustamyan in the Bulgarian registers.

Arustamyan has served as the CEO of Multi Group since its inception, and he also heads a number of other Tsarukyan companies.

Arustamyan’s daughter, 26-year-old Nora Arustamyan, who was the assistant to MP Tsarukyan in 2014-2017, became a parliamentarian from the Tsarukyan bloc in 2017. The Tsarukyan bloc, based mainly on the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), andheaded by Gagik Tsarukyan himself, is the second largest in the parliament with 31 out of 105 parliamentarian seats. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), whose political leader is Serzh Sargsyan, the current president of Armenia, has 58 seats. Although Tsarukyan's team is in the opposition, they mostly vote for the government's projects. In the parliament as well are the radical oppositional Yelk (Way Out) Alliance (9 MPs), and the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun, that signed a political coalition agreement with the RPA. It has only seven deputies, but three ministers and two governors in the government.

The new company of Tsarukyan's old friends

50-year-old Sedrak Arustamyan signed an agreement with Russian citizens Arthur Varzhapetyan and Armen Shahazizyan in August 2016 to establish Landmark Agency LTD («Лендмарк Ейджънси» ООД) in Plovdiv. We shall note that the company was registered in the State Register in May 2017. Charter capital of the company was set at just 9 Bulgarian levs, which the partners have divided into three equal parts. Activities include marketing, brandy distillate sales, sale and renovation of real estate in the country and abroad, brokerage, yacht sales and rental, production, processing and sale of food, industrial and household goods, restaurant and hotel business, representing Bulgarian and foreign people and companies, tourism, export, import, etc. Russian citizen Roman Naraev is the director of the company. The current address of Landmark Agency LTD is 10 Apostol Karamitev Street, Burgas. Let's add that the company is not a real estate owner.

48-year-old Arthur Varzhapetyan and Armen Shahazizyan founded Luding, a group of alcoholic beverages distributor companies, in 1993. Headquartered in Moscow, it has a large network of branches throughout Russia. Luding’s partners in Armenia are Kotayk Brewery and Yerevan's Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory, known as Noy, that belong to GagikTsarukyan. It turns out that the businessman’s three friends have started a new venture in Bulgaria and it’s clear that Tsarukyan is backing Arustamyan.

Tsarukyan’s Bulgarian business is led by Arustamyan. In particular, we have a power of attorney issued by JavahirTsarukyan to Arustamyan in March 2016, at our disposal, according to which Arustamyan is authorized to make real estate and movable property transactions in Armenia and abroad, to manage her shares in different companies, and to act on her behalf in court, and when dealing with others and with state agencies regarding legal matters. A similar power of attorney has also been issued by GagikTsarukyan. Both of these documents have been ratified by Yerevan notary Anna Abrahamyan, who is the daughter of former Prime Minister HovikAbrahamyan. Hovik Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan are in-laws, since Argam Abrahamyan, the son of the former prime minister and now a deputy from the Tsarukyan bloc, is married to Emma, one of the businessman's daughters.

BC-Gorna Bania

The main protagonist of this story, Gagik Tsarukyan, made his first and biggest investment in Bulgaria in October 2009, buying Bottling Company-Gorna Bania («Бутилираща Компания-Горна Баня» ООД). Pavlin Ivanov, YevgeniGoranov and Rumen Tsvetkov,the former owners of the famous bottling plant, sold their shares to Gagik and JavahirTsarukyan. Gagik became the company's 90%, and Javahir, the10% shareholder. The charter capital of BC-GornaBania is 2,010,000 levs (currently $ 1.23 million or € 1.03 million). Tsarukyan's share is 1,809,000 levs, and his wife’s share is 201,000 levs.

According to the Bulgarian Trade Registry, the transaction cost was around € 25 million. Former CEO and co-owner Yevgeni Goranov, confirming the sale transaction, in an interview with the Bulgarian press, said that around $20 million would be directed to paying off the company's liabilities. According to Dnevnik, the turnover of BC-Gorna Bania was more than 36 million levs in 2008. According to the same source, at the time of the transaction, the company had the right to exploit three mineral springs in the GornaBania district of Sofia for 25 years, which was supposed to be extended up to 35 years.

Though BC-Gorna Bania LTD was founded in 1997, the plant has a much older history and, according to the official website of the company, occupies more than 30% of the market. The LTD has 20 commercial representations in Sofia and 75 in the whole country. Product is exported to Europe, Asia, North America.

Let's note that ex-owners Yevgeni Goranov and Rumen Tsvetkov had direct contacts with Iliya Pavlov, who was a well-known and influential figure in Bulgaria. He’s aformer wrestler, but became more prominent as a businessman who had large estate and was considered one of the richest men in the Central and Eastern Europe. Pavlov and his Multigroup company were famous as the main figures in the Bulgarian criminal world, especially in the 1990s. In 2003, Iliya Pavlov was shot dead by a sniper. Before that, there was an unsuccessful attempt to kill him. Goranov was a member of the board of directors in Multigroup, he also founded several other companies together with Pavlov, and Tsvetkov had a common business with Multigroup.

Going back to BC-Gorna Bania, let’s mention that it markets mineral, carbonated and table water. In June 2012, BBB ("Bulgarian Best Beverage"), famous for its juice, nectar and cold tea production, became a part of BC-Gorna Bania’s portfolio.

After BC-Gorna Bania became Tsarukyan's property, Zaven Astadurov was appointed its director. He was replaced by Sedrak Arustamyan in April 2010. The head office of the company is located at 8 Mesechinka Street, Sofia.

As a large company, BC-Gorna Bania also owns extensive real estate properties. According to the official website, the company has production and storage bases in Sofia and Trudovets village. We have a number of Bulgarianreal estate register documents at our disposalwhich show that over the past ten years the company has acquired the property rights of its debtors. It can be assumed that the obligations arose because of non-payment for product supply. You can see on the map the towns in which BC-Gorna Bania debtors have such property. At the same time, there are towns with several properties.

Libamed

BC-Gorna Bania owns 100% shares of another Bulgarian company, Libamed LTD («Либамед» ЕООД). When a company’s shares belong to one person or company, Bulgarian companies are referred to as an EOOD - “sole LTD”, which is a common practice in Bulgaria. Libamed was founded in December 2000. Its charter capital is 5,000 levs, and is engaged in healthcare, diagnosis, treatment, counseling (urological, nephrology, motor disorders, Chinese medicine). The former director was Tsvetana Tsvetanova. Now, it’s lead by a member of Tsarukyan team, Armen Mnatsakanov (who is a citizen of Georgia and has a permanent residence in Bulgaria). The company is registered at 2 Obzor Street, Sofia, where the base of BC-Gorna Bania is located. Libamed doesn’t own property.

Ecobulpack

This Sofia-based joint stock company («Екобулпак» АД), according to its official website, has 92 shareholders; BC-Gorna Bania LTD being one of them. The latter, however, has only 45 shares. Armen Mnatsakanov is one of the members of the Ecobulpack Board of Directors. The company seeks to protect the environment by sorting and recycling packaging waste. Ecobulpack provides contractual services in Sofia and over 30 other communities in the country.

Multigroup Europe

In April 2016, Gagik Tsarukyan, via his authorized representative Arustamyan, signed an agreement with German citizen Alexander Boitz (permanent residence in the Czech Republic), to establish Multigroup Europe LTD («Мултигруп Европа» ООД). The company was stateregistered in May. The charter capital is 2000 levs, equally shared between the partners. Boitz is the director. The company is engaged in the purchase and resale of goods in their preliminary or processed form, intermediary activities, transportation services, hotel, travel, advertising, information, advisory activity, export, import, etc. Multigroup Europe is registered at 74 President Lincoln Street, Sofia. This is also ​​BC-Gorna Bania’s territory.

Balkan PET Company

In October 2016, Tsarukyan, again via Arustamyan, signed an agreement with Vahagn Arsenyan (born 1993), a citizen of Armenia residing in Jermuk, to establish Balkan PET Company LTD («Балкан ПЕТ Къмпани» ООД). Tsarukyan's young partner is the executive director of Jermuk Group and the son of its founder Ashot Arsenyan. It is logical to think that the latter is the real partner of Tsarukyan.

Multigroup Europe and Balkan PET Company are twin companies. Their fields of activity are the same, andthey have the same address in Sofia, on the territory belonging to BC-Gorna Bania. Neither owns any real estate. Both have the same charter capital of 2000 levs, which the partners equally share. In fact, the companies, founded within several months of one another, differ only by their directors. In this case, the director is 41-year-old ArsenOhanjanyan from Yerevan, who is also the foreign trade director of Jermuk Group.

Dividends from Bulgarian business

We sent questions to Gagik Tsarukyan in writing. Sedrak Arustamyan, who claimed to be thedelegated manager and authorized person of shares and stocks of Tsarukyan's all commercial organizations, replied.

We were interested to know the reasons for investing in Bulgaria. Arustamyan noted: "The answer is clear not only for you, but also for any analyst. The results of our operations abroad have been used by us for expanding business and creating new jobs in Armenia, and also for charity (nothing gained from the shares abroad has been spent for investment or other expensesabroad).

At the beginning of this year, before the parliamentary elections, Gagik Tsarukyan submitted a financial disclosure to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), where he mentioned that he has a 90% stake in BC-Gorna Bania, from where he earned 2.9 million euros in 2016. He also reported that he owns a50% stake in Multigroup Europe and Balkan PET Company, but did not declare any dividends from those. Arustamyan commented on this. "The data on Libamed, Multigroup Europe and Balkan PET Companyare missing in the disclosure since they don’t operate." In other words, according to Arustamyan, Tsarukyan doesn’t receive any dividends from these companies.

Being a member of parliament, Tsarukyan submitted property and income disclosures to the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials of the Republic of Armeniafrom 2011 to 2016, according to which, he has huge property holdings, revenues, cash assets, securities and investments. In 2014-2016, he also declared his dividends from BC-Gorna Bania: 2,1 million euros in 2014, 2,5 million in 2015, and 2,9 million in 2016.

We’ll simply present the financial resources declared by the businessman in AMD, USD, Euro.

Tsarukyan's money
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The Bulgarian Apartments Owned by MP Khosrov Harutyunyan and Son Robert

MP Khosrov Harutyunyan and his son Robert Harutyunyan, a deputy foreign minister, own real estate in Bulgaria.

69-year-old Khosrov Harutyunyan has almost always been in the ruling elite since Armenia's independence in 1991. Even before that, in 1987-1990, he was the mayor of Charentsavan. In 1990-1992 and 1993-1999,Harutyunyan was a member of parliament. For several months in 1992-1993, he was the prime minister of newly independent Armenia. From 1998 to 1999, he was the President of the National Assembly. Harutyunyan was the first in Armenia to hold leading positionsboth in the government and in the parliament. In 1999-2000, he was a Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Territorial Administration. From 2000-2002, he served as adviser to the RA President. In 2003, he founded the Christian Democratic Union Party of Armenia. In 2009-2012, he was a member of the Public Council adjunct to the RA President. In 2012 and 2017, Harutyunyan was again elected as a parliamentarian. Unlike the 1990s, when he was non-partisan, he now entered the National Assembly under the list of the Republican Party of Armenia, being also a member of its faction.

In February 2017, before the parliamentary elections, Harutyunyan submitted a financial disclosure to the RA Central Electoral Commission, which also mentions a Bulgarian apartment. According to the disclosure, the official has an apartment of 110 square meters in the Bendita Mare hotel complex next to the Golden Sands resort in Varna.

It’s an apart-hotel that offers hotel apartments to the guests. In addition, there are apartments that are for sale. The complex has 243 apartments, of which 41 are studios, 47 apartments have two bedrooms, and 155 have one bedroom.

According to the Bulgarian Real Estate Register, Harutyunyan's property right was registered on July 11, 2007. He bought the apartment from Holiday Tours LTD («Холидей Турс» ЕООД). It is situated on the 4th floor of a 7-story building. Unlike the data presented to the CEC, the Bulgarian documents show a smaller area of the apartment, 87.45 square meters, and the price of 58,675 levs (around 30,000 Euro). This is a fairly cheap price when compared to current prices of the Bendita apartments. Either the real estate used to be cheaper, or a diminished transaction value was presented to the registry, which is not against law and is quite common in Bulgaria.

After receiving our written request, Khosrov Harutyunyan proposed that we meet. During the meeting, he showed the sales and purchase agreement, which stated that apart from the 87.45 square meter area of ​​the apartment, Harutyunyan owns 14.98 square meters from the common area. The parliamentarian says that the complex is structured in a way that small areas from the common floor are allocatedto the residents, like in his case. Thus, the total area of ​​his real estate is 102.43 square meters, which he rounded-off and presented to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) as 110 square meters. As for the price, KhosrovHarutyunyan says that the property was acquired when the complex was still under construction, so the apartments were more affordable. As to why he bought property in Bulgaria, he says that the beach is good, and the conditions are comfortable. On the other hand, he says that he hasn’t visited Varna lately, although he used to go on vacation regularly. He added that he wasn’t serving in the government at the time of the apartment purchase.

Khosrov Harutyunyan, who became an MP in May 2012, declared two apartments, one non-residential building and a vacation home in 2014. Although the property's address is kept private on the website of the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials, it’s possible to get that information from the RA CEC. According to it, one of the MP's apartments is in the center of Yerevan, on Northern Avenue, where he and his wife are registered, and the other apartment is in Varna, as mentioned above. The non-residential building is also on Northern Avenue and the vacation home is located in the town of Sevan, in the Lavanda City neighborhood. In May 2017, becoming an MP again, Harutyunyan presented the above-mentioned property and a plot of land to the Commission on Ethics. The plot, however, didn’t appear in the financial disclosure submitted to the Central Electoral Commission in February. It is therefore assumed that the MP has acquired the land this year, between February and May.

As already mentioned above, non-EU citizens may purchase real estate in Bulgaria through a legal entity. The most convenient and accessible option is to register as a private entrepreneur, like Khosrov Harutyunyan did. His son, Robert Harutyunyan, did the same.

42-year-old Robert Harutyunyan, a deputy foreign affairs minister since March 2016 (it is interesting that Robert’s brother-in-law, Armen Papikyan, is also a deputy minister since June), also has an apartment in Bulgaria. In 2015-2016, he was a member of the Eurasian Economic Commission (minister). Before that, he had worked in the Armenian Development Agency, in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and in the Central Bank.

On June 26, 2008, one of the apartments in the Sun Sands City Bulgarian complex was registered in Robert Harutyunyan's name (Harutyunyan was the General Director of the Armenian Development Agency at that time). This is a residential and hotel complex situated in the seaside Primorsko town, now called Primorsko Del Sol.

The 5-star hotel can accommodate 390 people, and there are 208 apartments in the 8 residential buildings - studios, 2-bedroom apartments, two-storied houses. Harutyunyan's apartment is on the third floor of B building, with a total area of ​​86.2 square meters, plus ​​8.17 square meters from the common use area, making it 94.37 square meters.

Robert bought the property from the owner of the complex, Euro Holidays joint venture («Евро Холидейс» АД). The transaction price was 50,000 levs (around € 25,600), which is also a fairly low price.

In response to our question why he decided to buy an apartment in Bulgaria, the deputy foreign minister replied: "I bought a flat in Bulgaria, because I found it to be logistically and financially viable." The topic of the low price was also mentioned: "As regards the price, the value mentionedin the registry documents corresponds to reality, as Primorsko is not a leading resort in Bulgaria, so the real estate is incomparably more affordable, and the building was still unfinished when I bought the apartment."

We cannot agree that Primorsko is not a leading resort, since due to its climatic, natural and historical-cultural monuments, it is a favorite place for tourists, which also means that there are hotels and rest houses in every corner of the city.

After becoming a deputy foreign minister in 2016, Robert Harutyunyan declared two apartments, one plot of land and one building. The addresses are not visible on the website of the Ethics Commission, but we can say that one of the apartments is located in Primorsko, and the other is, perhaps, the apartment where the official resides with his wife and children. It is located in the same building on Northern Avenue in Yerevan, together with Robert’s parents. In his 2016 disclosure, the official mentioned that he had amortized a multi-apartment building for $300,000.

MP Artashes Geghamyan's Son; A Bulgarian Company Director

V & V Consulting LTD («В и В Консалтинг» ООД), led by Bulgarian citizen Vahagn Vardanyan, established Reno Bulgaria LTD («Рено България» ЕООД) in September 2006. Both companies are registered in Sofia. The charter capital of Reno Bulgaria is set at 200,000 levs, equal to around 100,000 Euros. The fields of activity include domestic and foreign trade, sale of shoes and accessories, production and processing of goods for sale, marketing, leasing, intermediary activities.

RA citizen Armen Geghamyan (born 29.06.1981) was appointed director of the Reno Bulgaria. Armen's father is politician Artashes Geghamyan, who is currently an MP. Earlier, in 1989-1990, when Armenia was still in the Soviet Union, ArtashesGeghamyan was the mayor of Yerevan, and he was a presidential candidate in 1998, 2003, 2008. Geghamyan has been an MP from 1995-2007 and since 2012. Despite the fact that he founded the National Unity Party in 1997, headed by him up to now, in 2012 and 2017 he got into the National Assembly under the list of the ruling Republican Party. Geghamyan, who used to severely criticize Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, is one of Sargsyan's loyal supporters today.

Interestingly, after failing at the parliamentary elections in 2007, Artashes Geghamyan went to Bulgaria for a while, saying he was there only for a rest. Let's note that according to the Bulgarian Real Estate Register, the Geghamyans do not own property in this country.

Armen Geghamyan led Reno Bulgaria until December 2009 when, by Vahagn Vardanyan's decision, he was replaced by Belarusian citizen Anzhelika Borisyuk, who also became the owner of the company in February 2014. In 2007, the company declared a profit of 400,000 Euros, and only 70,000 in 2014.

It seems that Armen Geghamyan didn’t appear in Reno Bulgaria by chance. The former owners of V & V Consulting LTD were Vahagn Vardanyan (60% stake, born 1967) and Mary Pluzyan (40% stake, born 1943), who are apparently related, because this is not their only joint company in Bulgaria. When she became a shareholder of this company, Mary Pluzyan was an RA citizen. Since 2002, she’s had a Bulgarian residency permit in Bulgaria, and later became a citizen of that country. Armen Geghamyan's mother, Anush, who is an Armenian citizen, is also Pluzyan (13.08.1953). Mother and son are registered at the same address in Yerevan.

As regards V & V Consulting LTD, its charter capital is 5,000 levs (around 2,500 Euros). Its fields of activity include operations, accounting, management, legal advice and services, commercial mediation in the country and abroad, advertising and marketing. In 2007, the company declared a revenue of 7 million Euros, and in 2014 - 3 million. The company's director was VahagnVardanyan, who also became a 100% owner since August 2014.

V. Vardanyan sold V & V Consulting, which had become EOOD, to Panamanian Ipito Associated Inc. in 2015, to which he owed. The sale agreement signed in October 2015 says that Vardanyan's company had previously signed a supply contract with the Panamanians and had received a payment from the customer for the service, but, as a result, accrued over 993,000 Euro in liabilities (we can assume that a product or a part of it wasn’t delivered), and the parties agreed to close the issue by transferring V & V Consulting LTD to the Panamanian offshore company. In December 2015, the Panamanian company was registered as the owner of V & V Consulting.

Armen Geghamyan was unemployed after leaving Reno Bulgaria. Later, there was a rumor in the Armenian press, that he was appointed head of the Meghri customs office on the Armenia-Iran border, but National Unity Party Vice President Gagik Tadevosyan denied it in January 2011.

"One of Geghamyan's sons got a Master's in International Business at London's Metropolitan University, and is unemployed for over a year and a half. The other is a candidate of jurisprudence, and he only works as a specialist in the Legal Department of the NA Staff."

He was talking about Armen and his elder brother Mamikon, who soon after became a prosecutor in the Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts’ prosecutor’s office in Yerevan.

It is noteworthy that after being elected as president in February 2008, Serzh Sargsyan, the incumbent prime minister, had responded to a wide range of questions from Internet users and citizens, one of which was about his former rival Geghamyan's son.

"Is it true that the son of Artashes Geghamyan will be appointed as the head of Meghri checkpoint after you become a president?" Sargsyan was asked. Sargsyan replied, "Of course not, I do not know if Mr. Geghamyan has a son whose profession is in line with that job, but I know he has educated children and there cannot be any obstacle in their involvement in public service. But talking about an agreement is absurd, especially for the Meghri customs office. I do not think that the prime minister should intervene in such appointments.”

Nevertheless, Metropolitan University graduate Armen Geghamyan would become a staffer at the Presidential Oversight Service many years later.

Artashes Geghamyan, who became an MP in 2012, mentioned the names of the affiliated persons in his declaration - his wife, parents, and his two unmarried sons, Mamikon and Armen-all residing at the same address. In the disclosure, the sons were also introduced as officials affiliated with Geghamyan, a prosecutor and a second-class specialist in the Presidential Oversight Service. But in the annual declaration of 2012, only the wife's name was mentioned as affiliated with Geghamyan. This is, perhaps, the result of the fact that the MP has changed his address (according to the order, the official's parents and unmarried children submit an annual declaration only if they live with him). Since 2012, Anush Pluzyan, the wife of the MP, is the only affiliated person who submits her own declarations.

Armenian President's Nephew Owns Shares in Bulgarian Company

RA citizen Harutyun Hovsepyan, who has been living in Bulgaria since 1995, was elected president of the Union of Armenians of Bulgaria in 2007 at its founding congress. He still heads the organization. He and his brother Yerem are businessmen in Bulgaria, dealing in different fields of activity - real estate, construction, food and so on.

In February 2006, Harutyun Hovsepyan,a resident of Varna,together with Tsonka Pencheva, founded Eco Bulstandart LTD («Еко Булстандарт» ООД) in General Toshevo town. In the autumn of the same year, he became the only owner and director of the company, which turned into an EOOD. The charter capital of the company is 5,000 (around 2,500 Euros).

Its activities include the creation and sale of agricultural and animal origin products in Bulgaria and abroad, in particular, production, processing, preservation and sale of fruits and vegetables, seeds, seedlings, fertilizers and plant protection products, cereal crop production on-site and abroad, agro-technical services, goods resale, as well as transportation, tourism, hotel and restaurant service. According to the Internet, Eco Bulstandart is engaged in production of apple, pear and quince juices, which are sold in 3-liter transparent bags.

In December 2009, Harutyun Hovsepyan was joined by the second owner, Varna resident Anna Sargsyan, who is also a citizen of Armenia. Sargsyan acquired 76% of the company's shares. However, some days later, she sold 16% shares each to Armenian citizen Narek Sargsyan, and to Russian citizens Aleksander Voronin and brothers Aleksey and Dmitry Kulik. Anna Sargsyan was left with 12%, and Hovsepyan became the largest shareholder, having 24%. In 2010, Sargsyan transferred her 12% to Hovsepyan.

Narek Sargsyan (born1987) is the most interesting of all. He is the son of Aleksandr, the middle brother of President Serzh Sargsyan. 22-year-old Narek, who became a 16% shareholder of the Bulgarian company in 2009, stayed there for one and a half years until June 2011, when he transferred his shares to Harutyun Hovsepyan. There is no real estate in Bulgaria registered in Sargsyan’s name. In October 2011, Voronin and the Kuliks followed Narek's example, after which, Hovsepyan became the sole owner of Eco Bulstandart.

Though the company was founded in General Toshevo, it changed its address later, moving to 76 building of Armenian-populated Varna’s General Kolev Street, where the Union of Armenians in Bulgaria operates.

Nevertheless, Eco Bulstandart's workshop is in General Toshevo. We visited it in August, on a working day and at working hours, but it was closed. Residents, however, have asserted that it operates from time to time and belongs to an Armenian.


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Comments (7)
1. Աննա11:45 - 1 November, 2017
կապիտալիստը մնում է սրիկա, որի միակ արժեքը փողն է։ Սրան պիտի չմարսեն այս ամենը և ժողովրդից թալանելով ու կոռուպցիայով հարստացած էս ելոնը գույքը պիտի վերադարձվի ժողովրդին։ Ամենացավալին այն է, որ Ջերմուկը թողեցին հանցագործ հանքատերերին, իսկ իրենք գնացել բուլղարիայում հանքային ջուր են շշալցնում։ Չե՛ք մարսելու։ Հոդվածագրին շնորհակալություն, միայն մի խնդրանք, հայաստանում չկա ու չի եղել ընդդիմություն, դա շատ լուրջ հասկացություն ու քաղաքական տերմին է, չարժե նման արժեք տալ այնպիսի միավորի, որն այդ արժեքը չի կրում։
2. Աննա12:20 - 1 November, 2017
Համակարգը չակերտներով բառերը դուրս է թողել։ հոդվածագրին հղված խնդրանքս նորից․ հայաստանում չկա ու չի եղել արմատական ընդդիմություն, դա շատ լուրջ հասկացություն ու քաղաքական տերմին է, չարժե նման արժեք տալ այնպիսի միավորի, որն այդ արժեքը չի կրում։ Նախորդ պարբերության մեջ նաև դուրս է մնացել չակերտներում գրված, էշելոն բառը, էշելոնի գոյւքը պիտի վերադարձվի ժողովրդին։
3. Josef12:43 - 1 November, 2017
Armenians love their homeland and are very patriotic. But they love money, diamonds, gold and business even much more then their homeland. It s true and it s the biggest problem for Armenia.
4. Լուսիկ19:16 - 1 November, 2017
Հույս դնել, որ ներկա իշխանությունները կզբաղվեն փողեր լվացողներով, անիմաստ է՝ բոլորը խրված են նույն ցեխի մեջ: Երկրի պարտքը աճում է, ժողովուրդը աղքատանում սրանց պատճառով: Բայց մի օր պատիժը հասնելու է զարգացած երկրներից, ինչպես դա եղավ Ռուսաստանի նախկին գյուղնախարար Սկրիննիկի հետ: Հիմա էլ լուրեր են պտտվում Ռուսաստանից 1տրիլիոն դոլար դուրս բերողների մասին: Աշխարհը փոխվում է և ավելի խիստ վերաբերվում սեփական ժողովրդին թալանողներին:
5. Taron01:01 - 2 November, 2017
I am curious as to what the wonderful ARF has to say about this corruption. Nothing, I suspect, as the ARF is part of the ruling coalition. This is one reason that so many ARF members in the US are embarrassed by the ARF. One suspects that when the going gets tough in Armenia, the oligarchs and party members will flee to their properties in Europe and Los Angeles.
6. Anon07:52 - 3 November, 2017
Of course they're investing elsewhere. The EU and U.S. do-gooders are encouraging and abetting "investors" (actually, thieves, some say) to buy up Armenian assets. As long as foreign do-gooders support and enable the Armenian government, why should Armenians invest in Armenia? And, of course, those do-gooders say they're here to fight corruption.
7. Anon09:50 - 3 November, 2017
Hey, Armenia is looking for investors: http://asbarez.com/168356/armenia-iran-to-look-for-new-investor-for-meghri-hydropower-plant/ At least it won't be the U.S.; they're too stupid to lock-in Iran economically. I'll bet China is interested.
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