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Kristine Aghalaryan

Top Armenian Official Enjoys Banana Monopoly: Imported 12 Tons in 2014

Nikol Pashinyan focused on the price of bananas during today’s session of Armenia’s parliament.

The opposition MP said that while the yellow fruit costs 500 or 600 drams per kilo, at a stretch 700 drams, throughout Europe, in Armenia a kilo goes for more than 700.

Pashinyan wagged his finger at Mihran Poghosyan, who heads the country’s Compulsory Enforcement Service, for controlling the banana market with the backing of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

“And against this backdrop, the man is a patriot. Do you believe it? He takes new employees to the Genocide Memorial and has them take an oath swearing ‘In the name of the homeland…’ If you’re a patriot let the people live in Armenia. Let them run their businesses. If you’re such a patriot don’t do things that force people to leave,” Pashinyan declared at the parliament session.

Now, let’s take a look at the amount of bananas Mihran Poghosyan, who enjoys a monopoly over the fruit, imports to Armenia.

 

According to figures provided by the National Statistical Service, 12,058 tons of bananas were imported to Armenia in 2014.

Amazingly, Armenia has also been an exporter of bananas in the past. Ridiculous you say. Check out the following Hetq article Armenia is Exporting Bananas.

Hetq had discovered that up until 2009 Ketrin LLC, a company founded by Mihran Poghosyan, was importing bananas, processing the fruit into banana oil, and then allegedly exporting it to the Bahamas.

Nothing of the kind ever happened. Ketrin forged the documents and sold the bananas in Armenia.

In the end, Ketrin got away with not paying the government taxes amounting to some 443.7 million drams ($1.479 million).

You can read about these financial shenanigans in the Hetq article “A Tale of Bananas in Banana Armenia