YEREVAN, June 15. /ARKA/. The Investigative Department of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) has launched a criminal case into an abuse of powers by officials of the Arinj rural community of Kotayk province.
The NSS said today in a statement that as a result of investigative measures, it has established that the officials of the community, seeking their personal interest, abused their powers by leasing 7.5 hectares of agricultural land in violation of the law.
Later, through a set of illegal manipulations they changed the classification of the land from agricultural to commercial and sold it to New LLC. Also, an adjacent agricultural land area of 0.8147 ha with buildings was handed to this company with violations.
According to the official website of the Multi Group concern, owned by the head of the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party and the head of its parliamentary faction Gagik Tsarukyan, on April 28, 2015, the New company opened the Arinj Mall. The ceremony was attended also by Tsarukyan.
On August 25, 2015, the wholesale trade center Arinj Mall expanded its activities by opening more than 70 new pavilions.
According to NSS, as a result, the community and the state suffered damage estimated at almost 378.8 million drams (more than $785,800).
The opposition party accused the authorities of political persecution today as a large group of National Security Service officers raided in the morning and searched Tsarukyan’s home in the village of Arinj, north of Yerevan.
In a statement issued later today the National Security Service said a group of Prosperous Armenia Party senior members had handed out hundreds of millions of drams as vote bribes during the 2017 parliamentary election campaign.
In a second statement, issued later, the National Security Service said it has revealed two cases of illegal entrepreneurial activity by companies controlled by Tsarukyan that cost the state more than 29 billion drams ($60 million) in damage.
Gagik Tsarukyan was taken today to the National Security Service today for questioning.-