Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine is probably one of the most non-transparent and one of the richest companies in Armenia. Its profit reaches billions of dollars, but no exact number has been published so far.
One of the owners of the company, according to some sources, is Republican Vahe Hakobyan, former governor of Syunik region. The property of the former governor makes 24,150,000 AMD, equal to 400,800 USD and 106,100 EUR. Hakobyan has declared his salary as a revenue, which was about 500,000 AMD per month. Moreover, within a year, Hakobyan bought two apartments worth 124 and 91 million AMD respectfully and paid 275,874 EUR for his apartment in Spain. In the reporting year, Hakobyan also purchased three garages and United Arab Emirates securities.
After assuming the position of the regional governor, Vahe Hakobyan establisheդ the “Syunik Development and Investment” fund, which was mainly, funded by Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine, with the aim of implementing investment programs in Syunik. The fund, according to the charter, belonged to the Republic of Armenia and was headed by Syunik governor.
Thus, according to the 2017 report, the fund spent 364,897,000 AMD, of which 349,369,944 donated by Zangezur CMC.
This foundation, as we have already mentioned, has sponsored various investment projects. Some of them, however, belong to Vahe Hakobyan’s family, his wife, Elizabeth Petrosyan.
The Foundation supports the “Public Diplomacy” NGO in the implementation of its programs.
The press has repeatedly stated that through the PARA TV channel, which belongs to this NGO, media terror was launched against Amulsar.
The governor’s wife Elizabeth Petrosyan and the Deputy Director of Public Radio Lika Tumanyan are the owners of the NGO and the same TV company.
Another project sponsored by Vahe Hakobyan’s fund is the production of semi-finished pizza labeled “Don Nico” in Kapan.
It was planned that the company should produce half a million semi-finished pizzas a year, both for internal consumption and for exports to Russia, Iran and other countries.
The production of the brand “Don Nico” is carried out by “Italian Food Corporation”, which is again owned by the former governor’s wife, Elizabeth.
By the way, it is noteworthy that, in response to an official request, the Provincial Administration stated that the “Italian Food Company” did not receive any money, while on the fund’s website something completely different is mentioned.
In 2017, environmentalist Artur Grigoryan (now head of Nature Protection and Soil Inspection) has submitted a report on the crime to the RA Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan.
Grigoryan accuses Vahe Hakobyan of discrediting environmentalists. Elizabeth Petrosyan and the “Public Diplomacy” NGO, which belongs to her, are mentioned in the published text.
The former governor is also a fan of soccer, he is the president of Gandzasar-Kapan Football Club.The sponsor of the club is the ZCMC Foundation, which according to 2017 report provided 578,703,300 AMD and 576,768,000 AMD in 2016.
The president of this fund is Zaruhi Tonapetyan, who is also the Deputy Director of the Combine. RPA member Arman Saghatelyan, whose younger brother Vazgen has also served as spokesperson for Syunik Marzpetaran/Provincial Administration has also worked at this SNCO.
It should also be mentioned, that previously Vahe Hakobyan worked at the Public Relations and Information Center SNCO as a Specialist in Monitoring Service. RPA member Ara Saghatelyan was the director of SNCO, who is the uncle of Arman and Vazgen Saghatelyan.