YEREVAN – Gagik Khachatryan, a controversial former finance minister, was arrested on Tuesday, August 27 as part of a corruption investigation conducted by Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS).
Another law-enforcement agency charged Khachatryan, who had also run the national tax and customs services under former President Serzh Sargsyan, with wasting large amounts of public funds while in office.
The Special Investigative Service (SIS) gave very few details of the case, which is understood to be separate from the NSS investigation. A spokeswoman said that SIS investigators have already recovered 800 million drams ($1.7 million) in “damage inflicted on the state” by Khachatryan.
The SIS indictment was announced hours after NSS officers raided Khachatryan’s and his relatives’ expensive properties in and outside Yerevan. The NSS director, Artur Vanetsyan, personally reported the searches.
“Searches are being conducted at Gagik Khachatryan’s apartment, mansion and other properties as well as the properties of individuals connected to Gagik Khachatryan,” Vanetsyan told reporters. “The searches are still going on and after they are finished Mr. Khachatryan will be taken to the National Security Service for questioning.”
Vanetsyan said Khachatryan is suspected of abusing his powers and misusing “tens of millions of dollars” worth of taxpayers’ money. He did not elaborate.