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Family of War Hero Made Fortune at Expense of Soldiers

Mayor of Ejmiatsin Karen Grigoryan, who is son of Republican Party of Armenia MP, oligarch and Artsakh Hero Manvel Grigoryan, announced his resignation on Facebook on the night of June 17.

Less than a couple of hours earlier, the National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) released a video footage of the search conducted at the house of Manvel Grigoryan in Etchmiadzin and his summerhouse in Arshaluys village of Armavir province. As the NSS reports, at both places various types of weapons and ammunition, parcels for soldiers sent from citizens during the Four-Day War in April 2016, including food and letters, a car park with vehicles intended for the use of the Ministry of Defense were found.

Manvel Grigoryan, who made a fortune on Karabakh war, was terrorizing Etchmiadzin for the last 20 years. Throughout this period, he has always been in power, holding numerous state positions, including the position of Deputy Minister of Defense, a Member of Parliament and the Chairman of Yerkrapah Volutneer’s Union.

Earlier, the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan during his live speech on Facebook when referring to the arrest of Manvel Grigoryan, mentioned not only this had to do with the allegations on keeping illegal weapons and ammunition, but also on stealing aid for soldiers and army supplies intended for the use during the Four-Day Escalation in April 2016.

In course of the search at the summer house No. 28 in Arshaluys village the following was found by the NSS: 18 PG-7 antitank grenade launchers, 20 F-1 grenades, 21,589 bullets of different calibers, 12 400-gram bricks of TNT, 27 KD exploders, 2 machine gun barrels and other ammunition. 79  rifles with factory numbers, 39 revolvers with factory numbers and 12,300 bullets of different calibers were found at the house of Manvel Grigoryan at 46 Alaverdyan street, Etchmiadzin.

Three car parks were also found at Grigoryan’s summerhouse with a collection of expensive modern and retro cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles. Noteworthy, several SUVs and an ambulance vehicle intended for the use during the Four-Day Escalation (2016, April) were discovered. The representatives of the Armenian Community of Russia donated these vehicles to the Defense Army of Nagorno-Karabakh. Manvel Grigoryan registered all of that as a property of his family members and thus transferred to his personal car park.

As it turned out there is also a private zoo at Grigoryan’s summerhouse with a tiger, bears, ostriches and a hippodrome. From the information provided by the NSS it became clear that the food for soldiers of the Four-Day War was used by Manvel Grigoryan to feed the animals of his zoo.

A criminal case is opened under Article 235 Para 2 of RA Criminal Code (Illegal procurement, transportation or carrying of weapons, ammunition, explosives or explosive devices.)

It should be noted, that alongside with Grigoryan’s arrest, Arthur Asatryan a reach resident of Echmiadzin who lives in Italy and is known as a criminal authority under the nickname Don Pipo, was also arrested. According to the news circulated in the media, the latter has a conflict with Grigoryan’s clan. Don Pipo participated in the rallies organized in Etchmiadzin during the last few days demanding Karen Grigoryan’s resignation.

According to the NSS, Asatryan was arrested on the suspicion of keeping large amounts of illegal weapons and ammunitions, as well as on the allegations of kidnapping several people. Four other people, who are citizens of the Russian Federation, were arrested in the scope of the same criminal case. Presumably, they are the bodyguard of Asatryan. Based on the consent of the latter they had illegally kept the weapons and the ammunition found by the NSS.