ArmInfo.Armen Avetisyan. The former head of the Customs Service of Armenia, was interrogated as a witness in the National Security Service (NSS). The director of the National Security Service Arthur Vanetsyan told reporters on October 16th. At the same time, Vanetsyan did not clarify Avetisyan's procedural status, indicating that he was not informed about this at the moment.
Answering the question whether the involvement of the 2nd President of the Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharian to the construction of the Golden Palace Hotel is justified, which was mentioned in the video report of the National Security Service, where Kocharyan occasionally flashes in the frames, Vanetzian said: "The video does not say that Kocharyan's family this hotel. Soon there will be a new NSS video, which will have new details. "
To recall on October 11, the National Security Service (NSS) distributed a video report that the Investigation Department of the Office initiated a criminal case against the former head of the RA State Customs Service Committee Armen Avetisyan about illegal participation in business activities and money laundering on a large scale acquired by criminal means ( money laundering) on the grounds of Art. 310 and 1, part 3, art. 190th RA Criminal Code. According to the press service of the National Security Service, according to preliminary data obtained as a result of the operative-search and investigative measures taken, Armen Avetisyan, in 2011, being the chairman of the State Committee of the Customs Service, together with the persons who are in business relations with him and financed, mainly in cash, the construction of the Golden Palace hotel complex on Azatutyun Avenue. In order to hide his and the participation of other persons, he attributed the construction of this object to LLC Riverhil Holding, which was founded in the Cyprus offshore.
Thus, as noted, the citizens of the country were misled that the supposedly millions of American dollars spent on the construction of the hotel were foreign investments. Armen Avetisyan, who personally supervised the construction work, using his official position, in some cases contributed to solving various issues related to the process. Further, according to the information, having expanded the business, on behalf of the same organization in 2010-2012. The Golden Palace Hotel was built in Tsakhkadzor. Already in 2012, Golden Group Limited, founded in the city of Douglas, United Kingdom, became the owner of the above two hotels. The owner of 100% of the shares of this company was the son of Armen Avetisyan - Artashes Avetisyan. Later, in 2018, Armen Avetisyan and his son founded the third Golden Palace Boutique Hotel on North Avenue. The total market value of all three hotels in 2016 was estimated at approximately 90 million US dollars.
In the video of the National Security Service there are archived footage in which the then Armenian President Robert Kocharyan also speaks about foreign investments invested in Armenia. "You know, if people from Cyprus have already invested here, built such a hotel, then there's confidence that the business environment is really that you can trust, you can invest and you can earn money," Kocharyan said. Meanwhile, most recently in an interview with "Yerkir Media", the former president, speaking of Armen Avetisyan, assured that rumors about his wealth are far from reality. <Armen Avetisyan: what wealth? At that time there were legends around Armen Avetisyan. Talking is one thing, but the real picture is another. I'm not saying that people were holy. But those conversations and the real picture are very, very far from each other, "Kocharyan said.