Tax Official: Nareg Hartounian And Others See Armenia As Cash Cow

Kristine Aghalaryan

14:11, February 24, 2012

Armen Alaverdyan, First Deputy to the President of the RA State
Revenue Committee, issued a statement today that basically charged
diaspora businessman Nareg Hartounian with viewing Armenia as a cash
cow to be milked.

“The case of Nareg Hartounian, in typical Armenian fashion, is one
in which Armenia is regarded as a source of profits and, tragically,
evasion of taxes goes hand in hand,” Alaverdyan said.

Alaverdyan made the statement during a live TV link-up with the U.S.

on the general topic of diaspora investment, with particular
attention paid to cases where the rights of diaspora investors have
been violated.

Participating in the discussion were MP’s, officials from the State
Revenue Committee, the Deputy Minister of Diaspora Affairs and lawyers
representing diaspora investors.

Alaverdyan charged the Hartounian family company with importing
macaroni and flour from Russia for three years and not disclosing
the correct sales figures.

The SEC official estimated the difference between the actual and
reported sales figure to be around 20%

Hartounian family lawyer Lernik Hovhannisyan refuted the charges made
by Alaverdyan.

Hovhannisyan argued that the inspector issued incorrect information
as to when Nareg Hartounian actually managed the company.

Mr. Hovhannisyan responded that Hartounian wasn’t even in Armenia
at the time and was called back in September of 2010 when it was
discovered that 120 million AMD had been embezzled from the company.

The lawyer argued that at the time of the alleged tax evasion, it
was Artyom Martirosyan who served as director of the company and that
Nareg Hartounian had no connections to the company at all.

From: Baghdasarian

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