YEREVAN (Arka) — A local court in Yerevan accepted January 20, 2022 the fourth lawsuit submitted by prosecutors demanding the confiscation of assets deemed to be illegally acquired by a crime boss Aram Vardanyan.
The list of illegally acquired property includes 10 apartments, residential houses, a store, buildings in Yerevan, 4 land plots in Kotayk and Tavush regions, 2 vehicles, the average market value of which is estimated at 870,997,100 drams (about $1.8 million), as well as 260,298,106 drams (about $543.5 thousand) as a balance of illegally-owned money.
“In the near future, the office will also submit to courts other lawsuits demanding the confiscation of illegal property owned by former Minister of Environment Aram Harutyunyan ($30 million), former Police Chief Vladimir Gasparyan’ ($5 million), National Security Service officer Serob Harutyunyan($1 million),” the Office of Prosecutor General said.
The law on seizure of illegally acquired property was approved by the parliament of Armenia in April 2020. It allows authorities to confiscate private properties and other assets deemed to have been acquired illegally.
More precisely, the law allows prosecutors to investigate individuals in case of having “sufficient grounds to suspect” that the market value of their assets exceeds their “legal incomes” by at least 50 million drams ($103,000
If such discrepancies are found prosecutors can ask courts to nationalize those assets even if their owners are not found guilty of corruption or other criminal offenses.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that from the position of the European Court of Human Rights, the seizure of illegally acquired property is a normal practice in the fight against corruption and is not considered a restriction on human rights.