YEREVAN — A department of the Office of Prosecutor General in charge of confiscation of assets deemed to have been acquired illegally has demanded forfeiture of property owned by a former Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan and three affiliated persons in favor of the Republic of Armenia.
On January 3, 2023 the Anti-Corruption Court accepted for consideration the 23rd case for forfeiture of expensive properties and other assets of former officials suspected of illegal enrichment.
Under a law enacted by the Armenian government in 2020 prosecutors can seek asset forfeiture in case of having “sufficient grounds to suspect” that the market value of an individual’s properties exceeds their “legal income” by at least 50 million drams ($100,000).
The property to be seized from Gevorg Kostanyan includes an apartment in Yerevan, two private houses in the resort town of Tsaghkadzor and in the village of Jrvezh in Kotayk region.
If the forfeiture of these assets is impossible, their average market value, which is estimated at 363 million 565 thousand drams must be seized.
Prosecutors also seek to seize from Kostanyan 173 million 947 thousand 38 drams as residue of illegally obtained income and 276 million 193 thousand 454 drams of income, not grounded legally.
In 2019 the Armenian Special Investigative Service issued an arrest warrant for Kostanyan after he ignored their demand to return to Armenia and answer investigators’ questions. Kostanyan, who now lives in Moscow, is prosecuted on five counts of abuse of power, forgery and cover-up of “grave crimes.”
The Department has also asked court’s permission to confiscate the assets of an MP and former Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan and six affiliated persons.
The property to be seized from Taron Margaryan includes six residential houses in Avan administrative district of Yerevan, a public area, a summer house in Jermuk and two vehicles. Their average market value is 1 billion 528 million 800 thousand 500 drams. The prosecutors also want to seize 853 million 402 thousand 782 drams of illegal origin. ($1 – 395.13 drams).