New scandal in Armenia: Former chief of Sargsyan’s safeguard arrested

New  scandal in Armenia: Former chief of Sargsyan’s safeguard arrested

Former chief of the former Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan’s guard, Vachagan Ghazaryan, was arrested, the country's Special Investigation Service (NSS) said.

He is charged with forgery committed by an official, illegal entrepreneurship and perpetration of socially dangerous acts.  

He will remain in detention pending trial.

Ghazaryan was detained three days ago when leaving a branch of Unibank on Charents street in downtown Yerevan. 

The Special Investigation Service said Ghazaryan is suspected of committing crimes under Article 301.1 (illegal enrichment) of the Criminal Code of Armenia and part 2 of Article 314.3 (fraud committed by an official holding a responsible public office), as well as submission of false data and concealment of data subject to declaration.

According to the report, there were $120,000, as well as 436 million drams (the equivalent of about $903,000) in his bag. The money was withdrawn from Ghazaryan’s personal account at Unibank to return to the real owner.

Ghazaryan also had on him $500 ‘for personal expenses’ and 213,000 drams (about $440). Another $50,000 was found in the Lexus car that carried him.

"The NSS has operative data, according to which Ghazaryan was going to withdraw 860 million drams (about $1,783,000) from his account at Ardshinbank and 690 million drams from his wife Ruzanna Beglaryan's account (about $1,430,000). The total amount is 1.5 billion drams," the National Security Service said.

Ghazaryan, was going to pay 17 million drams ((about $35,000) to Ardshinbank for withdrawing the money, the NSS said. He claimed also that he forgot to declare the money kept in Unibank and Ardshinbank as required by the law. 

Earlier NSS confiscated more than $1.1 million and 230,000 euros ($267,000) in cash from Ghazarian’s Yerevan apartment.

Earlier, Former chairman of the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union of Armenia, NA Republican Party of Armenia Faction MP Manvel Grigoryan was detained on June 16 after the searches by the National Security Service, on suspicion of illegal acquisition and possession of weapons and ammunition. 

Hundreds of boxes with military clothes and medicines, gathered for military personnel, as well as hundreds of boxes with food and hygiene products were found in the warehouses. In addition, 18 PG-7 anti-tank grenades, 20 F-1 grenades, 33300rounds of ammunition of various calibers, 12 TNT-blocks, 79 rifles, 39 pistols, other weapons, as well as several dozen property certificates were found there, Interfax reported. On​​ Grigorian's territory, there are also three motor-vehicle pools with a collection of cars. In addition, a zoo with a tiger, bears, ostriches and horses was found.

Grigoryan’s son Karen Grigoryan, former mayor of Etchmiadzin, has been included in this criminal case, as a defendant. Today Grigoryan’s wife, Nazik Amiryan, was also detained, Armenia's Special Investigative Service said.

Trucks with army-produced canned food banned for sale were found on June 19. According to the drivers, Nazik Amiryan ordered to load canned food and take them away.