Yerevan Market Blast: One Company Registered as Fireworks Manufacturer/Trader
Hetq has checked the records of Armenia’s Cadastre Committee (CC) to ascertain what companies/individuals were registered as tenants at Yerevan’s Surmalu Market as of Sunday, when a blast demolished large parts of the mall.
Minister of Emergency Situations Armen Pambukhchyan told reporters today that according to preliminary data, there were four tons of explosive materials housed in the market run by the Yerevan Canning Factory CJSC.
Cadastre Committee records show nineteen tenants at the market which measures six hectares.
The market consists of 63 buildings, including an administrative building, office space, trade pavilions and makeshift structures.
It appears that many more companies and individuals failed to register with the Cadastre Committee.
Most of the nineteen registered businesses import a variety of items (food, tobacco, children’s toys).
Gohar Arakelyan, a sole proprietor, has been renting 116 square meters in the market’s administrative building since May 2019 and is registered with the Ministry of Finance as an organization engaged in the production, import or trade of fireworks.
Gohar Arakelyan Facebook page shows she worked for the deputy head of the Kanaker-Zeytun administrative district (2013-2014) and later for Artak Hanisyan, a top figure in the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
Arakelyan then worked in the Yerevan Municipality as a computer technician in 2016, when she registered as a sole proprietor.
Hetq tried to contact Arakelyan by telephone and via Facebook, to no avail.
Hetq also telephoned Irina Madatova, director of Yerevan Canning, to see if the explosion occurred at Arakelyan’s warehouse,
Madatova, we were told, was not on the premises.