Bishop Mkrtchyan’s Business Interests: Does He Own 3 Hydro-Electric

Bishop Lazarian’s Business Interests: Does He Own 3 Hydro-Electric
Plants in Vayots Dzor?
Kristine Aghalaryan

12:50, July 5, 2012

The first thing that catches your eye as you enter the village of
Hermon in Vayots Dzor Marz is a site that looks like a water pool.

It’s actually a small hydro-electric station where the local kids go
fishing. The guy we saw fishing when we visited was Taron, who is the
station’s security guard.

When we asked Taron who the hydro-electric plant belongs to he
answered – His Holiness. He was referring to Bishop Abraham Lazarian,
Primate of the Vayots Dzor Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Catholicos Garegin II established the diocese in 2010 and transferred
Bishop Lazarian from his post as Primate of the Syunik Diocese.

Hermon Mayor Gai Ohanyan told us that there are actually three small
hydro stations in the village and that they all belong to Bishop

Hermon is a small village of 250 residents some 16 kilometers from
Yeghegnadzor. Back in the mid-1990s, four two-story stone houses were
built here by the American-Armenian benefactors Mike and Sona Ohanian.
Seven families of parentless children and those of Artsakh war
veterans were relocated to the houses. Each house cost $12,000 to

Hermon was chosen as the construction site because it was a small
village in need of new residents.

The program has been a failure. Only one of the original seven
families, that of Armineh, remains today. She doesn’t even live in the
house allotted to her.

The houses have been transformed into vacation bungalows. Residents
say the bungalows belong to Bishop Lazarian as well.

Taron took us to the resort bungalows where construction was in full
swing. They’re building sports facilities for prospective vacationers.
They were also building two hydro plants nearby.

The three Hermon hydro-electric plants owned by Bishop Lazarian are:
Yeghegis and Hermon, operated by Elegis Ltd, and the third is
registered to Sunrise Electric CJSC.

On the online state registry site, Elegis Ltd. was registered to the
name of the Syunik Social Benevolent Organization, who director is
Mayis Lazarian. Mayis is the brother of Bishop Lazarian.

It was Mayis who signed an agreement with the seven orphanage families
to relocate to Hermon.

The state registry has since pulled all information regarding Elegis
Ltd. The same holds true for Sunrise Electric even though it was
registered back in 2007.

Director Mayis Lazarian wasn’t around when we visited the village.

Aleksan Aleksanyan, who has been working for three years as the shift
coordinator for three years, told me, `They say it belongs to the
bishop, but he could have drawn up the documents under another name. I
don’t know.’

Aleksanyan said that two of the hydro-stations employ sixteen from
Hermon and the adjacent villages. Aleksanyan and his colleagues come
from Yeghegnadzor to work.

Gai Ohanyan has been mayor for six years. He says that the plants do
not interfere with irrigation. In fact, they are supposed to be of
benefit to the community.

`I couldn’t say what the benefit is exactly, but they do provide jobs.
Most of the village youth work there,’ said Mayor Ohanyan.

The power plants only provide a tiny fraction of the village’s budget.
Prior to 2005, when the government supported the construction of
hydro-plants, 170,000 AMD annually flowed into the community coffers.
Today, that figure from property taxes has dropped to 3,750.

Our telephone conversation with Bishop Lazarian was brief.

– No, they don’t belong to us but I assisted in the establishment

– Who do they belong to? Why did you assist?

– I try to help out everything you see in that area. It was
an Armenian from Moscow. He moved there a long time ago.

– So who is this person? Is it a secret?

– No, I don’t want to give out any information on this thing
and have it appear in the newspaper that the Bishop said this or that.
Do some digging and find the guy on your own.

– Do you have any connection with the Syunik Social
Benevolent Organization?

– That organisation closed down.

– When?

– Today.

– Why did it close?

– Write whatever you want

With this Bishop Lazarian hung up.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS