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From Army General to Affluent MP: Manvel Grigoryan Hides Income, Doesn't Pay Taxes

Rouben Vardanyan  
Kristine Aghalaryan
Edik Baghdasaryan

Armenian MP Manvel Grigoryan, a gregarious former general in the Armenian Army, owns and operates 35 separate pieces of real estate just in the village of Arshalouys (Armavir Province).

He represents the majority Republican Party in parliament and sits on the Defense, National Security and Internal Affairs Standing Committee. 

Generasl Manvel's assets consist of buildings, private homes, factories, natural gas and gasoline stations, resort areas, a restaurant, a sauna, a horse track, tens of hectares of grape and apricot gardens, hothouses, a market, animal stables, wheat fields…You get the picture – he’s loaded.

And these are just the businesses and properties registered in his name. An almost equal number are registered in the names of other individuals.

Hetq sent a written inquiry to Arshalouys Mayor Zarzand Grigoryan (no relation) about the general’s holdings in the village. After examining the information he sent, it turns out the MP isn’t paying a majority of his land and property taxes; accumulating finesand penalties since 2008. The general isn’t paying local municipal taxes as well.

Barns                                                                             The Sauna

It’s not as if the village municipality hasn’t informed Grigoryan about his tax arrears. The municipality has sent several notices to Ara and Aytzemik, a company owned by the general, informing him that the company must pay 200,000 AMD (US$490) in fees to operate his gasoline station and another 1,500 for outside advertising. Mayor Grigoryan reports that the company continues not paying.

The company is also engaged in construction. With state money, it is renovating the schools in Etchmiadzin and neighboring villages. Ara and Aytzemik has won two government contracts totaling 79 million AMD ($190,000).

On the flip side, the general’s companies are paying peanuts in taxes. Kouarlini Ltd., famous for producing asphalt, pays only 5,026 AMD ($12.29) annually to the municipal budget Ara and Aytzemik pays 204,000 AMD, and the Arpenik Wine and Cognac Factory pays 65, 924 AMD.

Manvel Grigoryan snatched up many of his properties back in the 1990s; when much of Armenia was up for grabs.

The general also owns a section of Lake Akna in Arshalouys and has built a recreation area along the shore. When a Hetq team visited the lake we ran into a woman who was watching over the general’s section of the lake. She even attempted to stop us from taking photos, arguing that the owners had so instructed her. When Hetq asked her who the owners were, the woman replied, “General Manvel”.

Lake Akna’s “supervisor’'

The staff at the Arshalouys Municipality told Hetq that there are parcels of land in the village belonging to people unknown to them. They said they can’t track down the owners and thus demand tax payments.

For example, Lake Akna’s shoreline is full of resort areas and private homes that do not appear on the official real estate map. In August of 2013, the municipality wrote to then Real Estate Cadastre head Yervand Zakharyan, requesting that his office assist them in specifying what construction was legal and illegal and if any zoning laws had been violated.

The Real estate Cadastre has yet to respond to the municipality.

General Manvel’s “preserve”

On the left side of the road from Lake Akna to the community of Zartonk there’s a sign reading Argelanots (Reserve). Zartonk residents say that the land has been obtained by General Manvel and that he doesn’t allow them to graze their animals there.

The land in question falls within the administrative boundaries of Taronik. According to the Taronik Municipality, a company called Lake Akna Beaver Farm operates there. This was a former state enterprise now owned by General Manvel.

General Mavel Grigoryan and his circle of friends and family own a bunch of stuff outside Arshalouys..

His son, Karen Grigoryan, the mayor of Etchmiadzin is building a palatial two story house on the outskirts of Etchmiadzin. His other son, Arman Grigoryan, makes money charging each of the 50 or so taxis plying the Etchmiadzin-Yerevan route a “fee” of 5,000-7,000 AMD daily.

The general himself owns the market in Etchmiadzin, the clothing mall, various stores and land; all of which he rents out.

He also owns a luxurious home in Etchmiadzin, complete with a pet tiger.

General Manvel’s security guard in Etchmiadzin

Not surprisingly, General Manvel reports just a fraction of all this on his income and property statement that he must file as a National Assembly MP.

On May 12, 2012, when he became a MP, the general reported just two parcels of land in Arshalouys, two homes in Etchmiadzin and Arshalouys, and a site zoned for manufacturing. He also reported owning nine vehicles.

He reported 105.8 million AMD in annual dividends from Ara and Aytzemik, and 40 million AMD from Kouarlini Ltd.

In terms of cash holdings, General Manvel reported 108.8 million AMD, US$45,000, and 45,000 Euros.

Neither the general nor individuals closely related to him filed an income and property report in 2013.

Armenia’s “Ethics Committee for High-Ranking Officials” told Hetq that it had sent additional notices to those officials who had failed to file for 2013.

That was over a month ago and General Manvel has still not filed his parliamentary financial report.

The following question thus arises: Is the government intentionally covering up for the general, or is it just too feeble to do anything?

Photos: Narek Aleksanyan

Comments (13)

Vasya 2019-01-25T08:30:13+04:00
Այս հոդվածը տպագրվել է 2 տարի առաջ,մեր պատգամ այրերը ինչ են? ձեռնարկել պատժելու համար այդ վայ նախկին գեներալին,որը հիմա ցուցադրաբար մեկնել է Արցախ,իբր հայրենասեր է ,ցավում է մեր զավակների համար:Բայց սուտ է,ցավող մարդը կվերացնի՜ գյուղի,մանկապարտեզը,ցավող մարդը կխուսափի,հարկերից,ցավող մարդը իր թիկնապահների միջոցով ահ ու սարսափի մեջ կպահի համաքաղաքացիներին,ցավող մարդը կզրկի գյուղավցիներին արոտավայրերից?Զարմանում եմ,ինչպես կարելի է վստահել նմանին ,որը մարդ կոչվելու իրավունք չունիՎագրեր է պահում,ինչու?,ժողովրդի ցասումից է վախենում?:Մի օր էլ այդ իրեն դեմ դուրս կգան և գահակալ կանեն պաշտոնաթող ,անգրագետ,բռի գեներալին:
Nazareth 2019-01-25T08:29:53+04:00
Last week in another article in hetq another general story that was $5000000 million dollar , this week this general, I came to the conclusion either our president, prime minister, justice minister are idiots, or they are in the take most likely 50/50 baisess. poor people of Armenia , no guts no glory. I wonder if the president reads this stuff, I know he does not know Engels , but what about his staff, don't they keep him informed.
Robert Davidian 2019-01-25T08:29:53+04:00
This INhuman being is not a hero or general, but he IS a cowardly criminal who will be behind bars with a tiger guarding the door for all the money he stole from the good citizens of the nation he swore to protect - but instead, continues to happily destroy! Yes, he will go down in history as one of Armenia's biggest corrupt thieves ever!
Վարազ Սյունի (Ամստերդամ) 2019-01-25T08:29:53+04:00
Հոդվածը կարդալուց հետո ուղղակի շշմած եմ:
Nazareth 2019-01-25T08:29:53+04:00
Last week hetq published an article about another one star general that had so much money that he loaned 5 million dollar to someone else, one Armenian citizen critiqued me for writing a comment about the general, not all Armenians are corrupt the citizen wrote, of course the bank teller is not corrupt, of course the person working in Sas supermarket is not corrupt, but the prime ministers wife is the generals are custom officers are, (hargayen people) are and all the others, who to blame, I say the regular people, that they are so dume, that they elect corrupt officials the end result , more corruption. Here is an idea, why not few hundered Armenians make a banner yellow color with red letters 7 feet long, go to parliament building and spent few hours there , the banner should read, Mr. Prime minister tell your wife not to cheat on taxess, another few hundered Armenians , another banner in front of president office, the banner should say, in Armenian of course ( since most of the officials you elect are idiots don't know a word of English ) enough is enough when are you gone stop this corruption) Of course nothing is going to change, since they know you the people are like sheeps,few police men, and you will run to your homes like cats, they have figured you out, Armenian population have no guts. No I am not a Turk , I live in diaspora I am 100 percent Armenian I care about Armenia but not idiot enough to come and live there.
Varouj 2019-01-25T08:29:53+04:00
The problem in current day Armenia is that the people have little understanding of morals. When husbands openly talk about having a girlfriend in front of their families then complain about the Oligarchs betraying the people in the same sentence, and they don't see their betrayal and lack of trust it saddens me. It is broken at a very basic level and those same poor standards are taken with them into positions of power. The soviets cleansed the system of too many things including acknowledging a higher power and morals based on Christian beliefs. We have many corrupt politicians and Christians in the west but at least we have a base of people fighting for what's right because they're aware of right from wrong at every level, from your family, marriage, a business partnership to leadership positions. When you have that then you can build a society based on some decency. Why aren't there decent people in power because there hasn't been a big enough change to the foundation. This will take at least another generation or a deliberate cleansing by a group ready to stand for truth and honesty..
Գեւորգ 2019-01-25T08:29:53+04:00
Ծեծ ու բռնություն, կենդանու ագահություն, բռի մեծամտություն, մանվել ու սամվել, նեմեց ու լիսկա, մկստան, լկստան-մտստան, խաբստան-բիճստան, իշու դրախտ՝ մեր երազների Անկախ Հայաստան! Աբա ի՜նչ անենք, թքենք ու փախչենք, թե՝ իրար փրթենք, վերջանանք պրծնենք?
Hagop 2014-09-18T16:39:18+04:00
As an Armenian observing from outside, with such stories, the one thing I see is that Armenia does not have a checks and balances system like in the USA. Perhaps the smallness of the country contributes to this, but the sooner the system is overhauled, the better for Armenia's future in getting rid of cheating and corruption.
Winston 2014-09-18T13:15:18+04:00
Why doens't Heritage or one of the opposition parties bring this to the attention of parliament? Every citizen should contribute proportionally to state revenues. The only way to address this kind of abuse is to confront other MPs in parliament and relieve this thug from his duties and have him pay his taxes. How corrupt and visionless can these politicians be? What entitles them to such exhorbitant tax relief? The Republican Party should be held accountable for this.
President 2014-09-17T13:49:02+04:00
Մանվել Գրիգորյանին չեմ ճանաչում, նրա մասին ոչինչ չեմ կարող ասել: Բայց Մանվելը որին ճանաչում են բոլորը Հայաստանում, իր դիրքի, վարք ու բարքի, ունեցվածքի, պաշտոնի համար պարտական է միայն պետությանը, որ ստեղծել է իրեն: Մի սովորական անուս գեղացի այս պետության մեջ կարող է գեներալ, ֆեոդալ, պատգամավոր, աստված դառնալ: Խնդիրը անձը չէ, պետությունն է, որ չկա...
Աշոտ Արամյան 2014-09-17T09:31:18+04:00
Հարգելի Հետք, Շատ շնորհակալություն նման հանցագործներին բացահայտելու համար: Բոլորն էլ լավ գիտեն, թե նա ոնց նախկին գեներալը է հարստացել պատերազմի տարինեիրն: Քանի որ նա պաշտոնաթող գեներալ է, ապա առաջարկում եմ այսուհետև չնշել նրան որպես գեներալ Մանվել, այլ նշել պաշտոնաթող գեներալ կամ նախկին գեներալ: ՞Գեներալը հարկերը չի վճարում՞ փոխարեն պետք է գրվեր ՞Պաշտոնաթող գեներալը հարկերը չի վճարում՞ Քանի որ նշելով գեներալ Մանվել, դա կարող է վարկաբեկի մեր ներկայիս բանակը: Եվ եթե նա իսկապես գեներալ լիներ, հիմա նա կլիներ բանակի կողքին այլ ոչ, թե քաղաքականությամբ կզբաղվեր: Կրկին շնորհակալություն պաշտոնաթող գեներալի արժանիքները նշելու համար, վստահ եմ չարի վերջը կգա
Էջմիածնեցի 2014-09-17T04:56:29+04:00
Ինչի չեք ասում , որ ով որ հայտնվում ա դրա ճանապարհին , թիկ ապահների կողմից ահավոր ծեծվումա հենց տեղում`, ճանապարհի վրա: Մարդիկ վախով են անցնում էն փողոցներով , որտեղ էտի տուն ունի կամ դրա մեքենաներն են: Ու ովա դրան էդքան արտոնություններ տվել չեմ հասկանում:
haykUS 2014-09-16T17:00:19+04:00
Manvel should burn in HELL. Evil and he is not a hero, he is not a general, just trash that took advantage and power to get what belongs to people.

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