ՎJudge of the Civil Court of Appeal Gagik Khandanyan appeared in the center of attention of the Commission for Prevention of Corruption in 2020, after acquiring “Mush” company. It was noteworthy that Khandanyan had acquired that company for USD 2.3 million, in fact not having the appropriate funds.
Fact Investigation platform has already referred to Gagik Khandanyan and his family’s property and business activities. The business activities and property of Khandanyan’s son, Judge Rafik Khandanyan, are quite remarkable. It should be noted that Rafik Khandanyan is the son-in-law of the former mayor of Yerevan, former Minister of Transport and Communication Gagik Beglaryan.
Who are the Khandanyans?
As we have already mentioned in the previous publication, Gagik Khandanyan has held various positions in law enforcement and judicial bodies since the 1990s. In January 2016 he was appointed a judge of the Civil Court of Appeal.
Rafik Khandanyan is the eldest son of Gagik Khandanyan. Since 2013, by presidential decree, he has held the position of a judge of the Administrative Court.
The chronology of the appointment of Gagik Beglaryan and Rafik Khandanyan is also quite interesting.
Beglaryan was appointed Minister of Transport and Communication in June 2012. A few months later, in November, Beglaryan’s daughter Natella Beglaryan and Rafik Khandanyan got married, and two months later, in January 2013, Rafik Khandanyan was appointed a judge of the Administrative Court.
Prior to his appointment as a judge, Rafik Khandanyan had submitted only one declaration to the Ethics Committee of High-Ranking Officials in 2011, in which the latter was mentioned as a co-resident with Gagik Khandanyan. That year Rafik Khandanyan declared a salary of AMD 3 million and a donation of AMD 2.5 million.
As already mentioned, in 2013 Khandanyan was appointed a judge and started submitting a declaration as an official.
In the declaration of assuming the position, Rafik Khandanyan mentioned securities worth AMD 50,000, as well as AMD 31 million, USD 70,000, EUR 21,000 in cash. It should be reminded that Rafik Khandanyan mentioned in his 2011 annual declaration only a salary of 3 million drams, a donation of 2-5 million drams, it is not clear how Rafik Khandanyan was able to collect such a large amount in about a year.
By the way, despite the fact that Khandanyan presented a share worth AMD 50,000 in his declaration assuming the position, but according to the register of legal entities, in 2013 the latter did not have a share belonging to any company.
Rafik Khandanyan’s wife, Gagik Beglaryan’s daughter Natella Beglaryan, did not declare anything that year.
In the following years, no significant changes were made in Rafik Khandanyan’s declarations, except, perhaps, for the continuous increase of cash, and nothing was presented in the declarations of the wife: neither real estate nor movable property, nor money, nor income.
From 2019, the procedure for declaring the property and income of officials was changed. One of the main differences is that if before the officials declared their property in the declaration of assumption of the position, and each year presented only the transactions in the reporting year, then by the new procedure they are obliged to present every year both the transactions made during the year and the complete information on the property they own.
2019 թվականին Ռաֆիկ Խանդանյանի դրամական միջոցները նվազել են՝ 60 մլն դրամից դառնալով 15․7 մլն դրամ։ Թե ի՞նչ է գնվել այդ գումարով՝ հայտարարագրում չի բացատրվում, սակայն արտարժույթով ունեցած դրամական միջոցները փոփոխության չեն ենթարկվել՝ 70,000 դոլար և 22,000 եվրո։ Ռաֆիկ Խանդանյանը ներկայացրել է նաև 8․6 մլն դրամ աշխատավարձի և 2017 թվականին գնած բաժնեմասի վերաբերյալ հայտարարագիր։ In 2019, Rafik Khandanyan’s funds decreased from 60 million drams to 15-7 million drams. What was bought with that money is not explained in the declaration, but the money in foreign currency has not changed – 70,000 dollars և 22,000 euros. Rafik Khandanyan also submitted a declaration on a salary of 8-6 million drams and a share bought in 2017.
Rafik Khandanyan’s wife, Natella, declared in 2019 an apartment and a garage on North Avenue belonging to her by the right of sole ownership, as well as a non-residential part of an apartment building in the Center, bought in 2019 for AMD 50 million.
It is unknown where Natella Beglaryan got 50 million drams from, if the latter had not stated anything in her declarations before. We also learn from the declaration that the securities acquired by Beglaryan the previous year are 100% shares of one of the companies.
Previous year, Rafik Khandanyan had declared AMD 25.6 million, USD 70,000, EUR 22,000 in cash, AMD 9.8 million of salary, as well as a AMD 2 million loan given to “Aratta Group” LLC.
As already mentioned, in 2018 Natella Beglaryan acquired a 100% share of a company. We are talking about “Grand House” LLC. It is unknown how much “Grand House” LLC cost, but already in 2020 Natella Beglaryan received AMD 26 million of income from this company.
The court in parallel with business
As mentioned, last year Gagik Khandanyan acquired “Mush” LLC, which, in the opinion of the Commission for Prevention of Corruption, is a violation of the Law on Public Service and the Judicial Code. However, it turns out that the purchase of “Mush” LLC is not the only one in the case of the Khandanyans.
Rafik Khandanyan, in addition to being a judge, founded “Aratta Consulting” LLC in 2015, which carried out legal activities, and sold it a month later. However, no reference was made to this in the latter’s annual declaration.
2017 թվականին Ռաֆիկ Խանդանյանը հիմնել է նոր ընկերություն՝ «Արատտա գրուպ» ՍՊԸ–ն։ Ի տարբերություն «Արատտա քընսալթինգ» ՍՊԸ-ի, որի վերաբերյալ տվյալները Ռաֆիկ Խանդանյանն իր հայտարարագրում թաքցրել էր, այս ընկերության մասին 2017 թվականի տարեկան հայտարարագրում նա նշել է։ Ի դեպ, նախորդ տարվա հայտարարագրում հենց այս ընկերությանն է Խանդանյանը տվել 2 մլն դրամ փոխառությունը։ In 2017, Rafik Khandanyan founded a new company, “Aratta Group” LLC. Unlike “Aratta Consulting” LLC, about which Rafik Khandanyan hid the information in his declaration, he mentioned in the 2017 annual declaration about this company. By the way, in last year’s declaration, Khandanyan gave a loan of 2 million drams to this company.
The activity of the company is now temporarily suspended.
In fact, since 2015, Rafik Khandanyan, being a judge, has started doing business.
In 2018, Rafik Khandanyan’s wife Natella Beglaryan, who acquired a 100% stake in “Grand House” LLC at the end of the year, started doing business. As mentioned, it is unknown how much Natella Beglaryan paid to buy this organization providing pre-school education, but let us remind that before that Beglaryan had not presented any real estate, money or bank account balances in her declarations.. Therefore, from a financial point of view, this deal is quite odd, if, of course, the “sponsor” is not her father Gagik Beglaryan.
Ի դեպ, Նատելլա Բեգլարյանը Զինծառայողների ապահովագրության հիմնադրամին կատարել է ընդամենը 3 պարտադիր վճարում՝ 2017 թվականի հունվար-մարտ ամիսներին, ինչը նշանակում է, որ վերջինս գոնե այդ ամիսներին կատարել է վճարովի աշխատանք, որը հայտարարագրերում չի նշվել։ Բացի այս երեք փոխանցումներից, Նատելլա Բեգլարյանի կողմից հիմնադրամին այլ փոխանցումներ երբևէ չեն արվել։ By the way, Natella Beglaryan made only 3 mandatory payments to the Insurance Foundation of Servicemen in January-March 2017, which means that the latter at least in those months performed paid work, which was not mentioned in the declarations. Apart from these three payments, Natella Beglaryan has never made any other transfers to the foundation.
According to the new declaration procedure, the declaring official is obliged to fill in a declaration of interests, which must contain information on the participation of the official or his / her family member in the organization (shares, stocks).
However, Rafik Khandanyan did not mention in the declaration of interests information about either his or his father’s shares in different companies, nor did he mention anything about “Grand House” LLC acquired by his wife.
Thus, we can state that Rafik Khandanyan founded a number of companies during his tenure, engaged in apparent entrepreneurial activities, and did not present in the declarations of interests the information about the companies founded or bought by him, his wife and father, which would allow seeing the participation of an official’s family member in those companies.