‘THEY WANT TO SEIZE MY PROPERTIES,’ INSISTS DIASPORA ARMENIAN ENTREPRENEUR CHARGED WITH TAX EVASION
The injustice of what happened to me is a consequence of some people’s
greed and insatiability, said founder of the Naregatsi Art Institutes
in Yerevan and Shushi and GH Storage Enterprises LLC Director Nareg
Haroutunian today at a press conference in the Armenian capital.
Recall, on Dec. 9, Haroutunian was arrested on tax evasion charges.
Within the course of a day, he was indicted, tried and found guilty
without proper due process. He was later released, but made to pay
a fine of 110 million drams (approx. $287,800 USD).
“We’ve never seen any profit in Armenia; there have been only
investments and this was all done on patriotic grounds. We’ve trusted
people who today not only are not standing beside us, but also
gave false testimonies and wrote unfounded deeds against us. It’s
been about a year that I, GH Storage Enterprises Deputy Director Ani
Mnatsakanyan and chief accountant Artur Galstyan have been constantly
dealing with red tape. In the last 5 days, the investigators engaged
in such barbaric, inhumane activities against us that it was simply
unacceptable,” he said.
According to Haroutunian, one who invests millions of dollars into
the homeland could not have evaded taxes.
“A fine of 110 million drams was absurd. Beginning from the
investigators to the judges, if they judge fairly, if they determine
that we have tax debts, we won’t avoid responsibility,” he said.
The diaspora Armenian entrepreneur was insulted by the fact that he
was detained on the 40th day since his father’s death (a day marked
by Orthodox Christians which sometimes includes a memorial service
to commemorate the deceased person).
“Isn’t it perhaps unjust that they’re took me to the investigations
division where I spend an entire day then they drag me to court,
issue an unfounded and unjust ruling and they put Ani, Artur and I in
prison? All this was ordered from the upper echelons. Those sitting
on high positions also have to realize that you can’t misuse your
authority and live with lies, because we all know that those days
are numbered. This is a problem for all of us – we together have to
fight against all injustice,” he said.
Haroutunian is convinced that there is one purpose behind all the
instances of persecution and defamation – to seize all that he has
and claim it for themselves. As to who wants to do this, Haroutunian