Armenian Ambassador to Israel Implicated in Illegal Yerevan Real Estate Scheme
Armenian’s Investigative Committee (IC) has filed criminal charges of abuse of power and money laundering against Armenian Ambassador to Israel Armen Smbatyan.
The charges relate to a Yerevan real estate scheme that saw a downtown landmark building at 3 Abovyan Street pass into private hands.
Hetq broke the story in a 2015 article entitled Property Tricksters: Armenia’s Culture Minister and Presidential Adviser Appropriate Yerevan Landmark.
The building in question is the two-story black touf structure colloquially known as AOKS. (AOKS is the Russian acronym for the Armenian Society for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries – ASRFC.)
The IC charges that Smbatyan, who also served as President of the Armenian Cultural Cooperation with Foreign Countries NGO, assisted then Armenian Minster of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan in forging fake papers to acquire the building and land.
The building and land were then sold to an offshore company, owned by Poghosyan’s daughter-in-law, for $550,000.
The IC reports that its investigation continues.