Defense Minister Suren Papikyan bought an expensive apartment in Yerevan. The transaction took place in the summer of 2022. The deal for the purchase of the apartment was financed by “Armeconombank”, which belongs to the family of a member of the National Assembly, Khachatur Sukiasyan. And the building, where the minister’s apartment is located, is being built by the company of Ashot Arsenyan, a former member of parliament, who now enjoys the support of the current authorities.
“Hetk” found out details about the real estate purchase transaction. Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan bought a new apartment with his wife Armine Muradyan, which has not yet been commissioned. The newly constructed building is located at 18/4 Arshakunyats Avenue, in the newly formed “Byuregh” residential district. The building is completely built, cladding and interior finishing works are underway. According to the data received from the Cadastre Committee, in the name of Suren Papikyan and Armine Muradyan, the “right to purchase an apartment in the building under construction” in the residential complex (building D) was registered in the summer of 2022, on July 27.
“Hetk” managed to find out from another source that the apartment in the newly built building is 165 square meters, and the transaction price was 69 million drams. This amount is 168,000 US dollars (1 US dollar is 410 drams) at the average exchange rate set by the Central Bank as of the month of purchasing the apartment. In other words, the price of 1 square meter was 1019 dollars as of July 27. We have talked with those who want to buy an apartment in the “Byuregh” residential complex, according to whom, in 2020, before the war, when real estate prices were lower, property with an area of 1 square meter in the mentioned complex was more expensive, starting at 1200 per square meter. from dollars (low taxes from 1100 dollars). Today, the price of 1 square meter of real estate in “Byuregh” residential complex starts from 2500 USD. Under those conditions, the property bought by Suren Papikyan is worth 169 million drams, about 412 thousand dollars, but the minister bought it for 69 million drams (168 thousand dollars). We sent a written request to the Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan, asking him to clarify how he managed to buy that apartment for about 100 million drams cheaply. The minister stated in writing that he bought the apartment in July 2022 with the loan funds of “Armeconombank”.
“Regarding the question raised by you, I should mention that in order to get more precise information about the market price of the mentioned apartment, it is necessary to contact the company dealing with the sale of the apartment building,” said Suren Papikyan, without actually clarifying the circumstances of the successful transaction. In order to get an explanation, we also addressed the director of the company building the “Byuregh” residential complex, “Jermuk Group” CJSC, with a written request. Since we could not get a clear answer from the representative of the company over the phone, when exactly they will answer our questions, we decided to publish the material. As soon as we receive the survey file, we will publish it as well. Who built the apartment and who financed the deal? The possibility of buying the apartment worth 412 thousand dollars for 168 thousand dollars is probably due to the factor of the other person who is a party to the transaction, Ashot Arsenyan.
The residential and public complex at Ashakunyats 18/4, located in the Kentron administrative district of Yerevan, is being built by “Jermuk Group” CJSC, which belongs to former deputy Ashot Arsenyan. Arsenyan was a deputy of the National Assembly in 2003-2012, he joined the Republican Party led by Serzh Sargsyan. However, everything changed after 2018. In 2019, “Jermuk Group” donated snow removal machines to Yerevan Municipality, and then received permission to build a high-rise apartment complex on Arshakunyats Avenue. In the same year, a criminal case was initiated to find out the circumstances of Arsenyan’s son Vahagn Arsenyan’s discharge from the army, which was dismissed shortly after. And already in October 2021, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan appointed the same Vahagn Arsenyan as the acting head of Jermuk community. He was half a step from an official to a community leader. On December 5, 2021, the “Civil Agreement” won in the Jermuk community elections, and Vahagn Arsenyan, who heads the CP list, became the head of the enlarged Jermuk community. The deal for the purchase of the Defense Minister’s apartment was financed by “Armeconombank” OJSC, more than half of whose shares belong to the family of businessman Khachatur Sukiasyan, a member of the “Civil Contract” faction of the National Assembly.
According to the bank’s official website, 57.52% of the registered and fully paid share capital of the bank belongs to Sukiasyans. By the way, “Armeconombank” also financed the purchase of the private house of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan, which amounted to 280 thousand US dollars. In 2019, when Suren Papikyan was the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, he bought an 86 square meter apartment in a newly built building on Adontsi Street in the Arabkir administrative district. In this case, the developer was “Mikshin” LLC. The cost of the apartment was 27 million drams. In the same year, Suren Papikyan died and took loans from different banks. He took a loan of 18.7 million drams from “Ardshinbank”, 1 million 850 thousand drams from “VTB-Armenia” bank. When purchasing the apartment, the official used the privilege defined by the “income tax refund” decision.