“Russian Money Laundering in Armenia. New Discovery”
10.10.2016
13:00
Viktor Ter-Hovsepyan, the son of former Prosecutor General Suren Osipov, and Russian businessmen have carried out a big procedure of money laundering in Armenia, which escaped the attention of law enforcement authorities: Arthur Sakunts, head of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office and Marina Poghosyan, Head of the “Veles” Law firm, spoke about this and presented some details during the press conference at Media Center on October 10.

Viktor Ter-Hovsepyan, the son of former Prosecutor General Suren Osipov, and Russian businessmen have carried out a big procedure of money laundering in Armenia, which escaped the attention of law enforcement authorities: Arthur Sakunts, head of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office and Marina Poghosyan, Head of the “Veles” Law firm, spoke about this and presented some details during the press conference at Media Center on October 10.

Marina Pogosyan said that Alexey Koripanov, a Russian businessman, applied to their organization, saying that over the years, since 2005, his colleagues and he commenced their activity in order to build an apartment building. In the end, the son of former Prosecutor General Suren Osipov, Viktor Ter-Hovsepyan, seized their $ 5 million investment.

“We tried to help the Russian businessmen, initially thinking that the investors had become a victim of fraud and deception. On September 15, 2015, based on our report, as well as on the basis of their application, a criminal case was filed on the fact of fraud, which is still being investigated," she said and added that the investigating authorities have not done anything yet.

But as later “Veles” Company explores, on July 22, 2005, the former prosecutor Osipov's wife Lyubov Piloyan and Alexey Karipanov established "Ansur Invest" company to get engaged in the construction work.

“In 2006-2007, they purchased plots to carry out constructions, and here the most interesting deals begin. From March, 2006 until the end of November, 2006, during 5 months, about 1 million 620 thousand dollars were brought to Armenia, out of which 1 million 345 thousand dollar was sent by transfer and 275 thousand in cash. If the Russian businessmen aimed to buy plots to launch construction, there was "Ansur Invest" organization registered, and if foreign investors cannot acquire land, because it is contrary to our Constitution and the Land Code, the latter could obtain the plots through the organization," Poghosyan said.

She said that they had suspicions as all the transactions were made through intermediaries. Marina Pogosyan drew attention to the fact that the purpose of the transfer was listed as buying computer accessories, though Dmitry Kotov, a man who conducted the transfer, still insists that the transfer was done for buying land.
“The amount is made cash and handed to Lyubov Piloyan, the latter, together with her son Victor Ter-Hovsepyan, began to buy plots. The lands were purchased much cheaper than sold to the Russian businessmen. As a result, all the plots became the property of Victor Ter-Hovsepyan," Poghosyan said.
In addition, while preparing the materials prosecutions were commenced against human rights defender, in particular a criminal case was filed against her for fraud in the sale of a flat.

“Russian 3 businessmen Alexey Koripanov, Dmitri Kotov and Dmitri Afonin, were recognized as victims on the case of fraud, but as the investigating authorities did nothing, we got deeper and realized that in addition to fraud, there are also other contracts containing elements of crimes - land acquisition to foreign citizens and money laundering," he said.

Artur Sakunts says that there are hundreds of papers which prove that former prosecutor Suren Osipov’s family was involved in the case.

"The National Security Service (NSS) has representatives in all the banks. You know how hard it is to make large amounts of money cash. But these people have thousands of dollars in cash and it is significant that they did it through Russian-Azerbaijan VTB Bank, and didn’t the National Security Service see it? We also have the Central Bank and the Financial Monitoring Center attached to it that have to be engaged in the activities against money laundering and terrorism. Where were they during these transactions? The tax authority also acted inefficiently as these are not random lands, they are the lands of the Cascade territory. They are, in fact, sold to foreign nationals, which is contrary to our Constitution, and State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre is silenced," Sakunts said.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
To contact the author please send an email to lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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