Armenian former President Serzh Sargsyan’s ties with corruption and criminal elements have been repeatedly mentioned in the pages of international organizations and influential media outlets, and numerous articles have been published. During Sargsyan’s rule, he tried to prevent spreading of such information by various means. New information about his corruption crimes constantly appears. This time, the media organization  published an article about the crimes of Serzhik (his real name). The article “Criminal case launched over Armenian ex-president’s repeated trips to German spa town” states that Sargsyan spent money from the Armenian state budget for his own purposes. Sargsyan lost more than $100 million of state funds in Baden-Baden casinos.

The Armenian Special Investigation Service has opened a criminal case in connection with former President Serzh Sargsyan’s more than 15 visits to the German resort city of Baden-Baden. The report, published by the Yerevan-based Fact Investigation Platform (FIP), documented more than 15 visits to the German resort city by Sargsyan during his presidency. This confirms that Serzhik has repeatedly lost large amounts of money in gambling. The FIP report shows that Sargsyan not only traveled to Baden-Baden for the holidays, but there were also other similar ‘surprises’ during his official visits abroad. In other words, Sargsyan lost not only $100 million, but even more. An article published in the influential Russian newspaper “Moskovskiy Komsomolets” states that Sargsyan, as an addict to gambling, periodically lost budget money in European casinos.

The most profitable sectors of the economy in Armenia are divided between two groups led by Sargsyan. Sargsyan misappropriated the country’s money by transferring it to companies registered on the names of his relatives.

Sargsyan, his family and close relatives owned a network of gas stations in Armenia, wineries in Karabakh, the Hadrut Winery, the AraratBank and the Ararat restaurant chain operated by Mika Group. His aviation company Armavia and Mika group LLC were engaged in real estate and construction, financial brokerage, information and communication technologies, grain processing and flour supply. This LLC was engaged in the import of fuel, gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel from abroad and “wiped out” inflated budget funds by winning state tenders.

Sargsyan also owned a hotel and restaurant complex in Moscow and a private residence in London. The Sargsyan family also owns 50 percent of BTB Bank-Armenia and Armsberbank. Through the offshore company Global-Contact, he has been particularly active in budget laundering. (Source:

At a time when Armenia was experiencing a fuel crisis in 2013, 489 million drams ($1 million) of diesel fuel was misappropriated at an inflated price as part of the government’s agricultural assistance program. An investigation by the Armenian Special Investigation Service (SIS) revealed that Sargsyan put serious pressure on government officials in the process.

According to, the winner of the tender announced by the government in January 2013 for the purchase of 17 million liters of diesel fuel in the country was Flesh, a company close to Sargsyan. Barseg Beglaryan, a businessman close to Serzh Sargsyan, allocated 1.7 billion drams ($3.5 million) to supply the company with fuel, bringing $1 million to Sargsyan from the inflated tender.

Sargsyan, with the help of Flesh owner Barseg Beglaryan, also misappropriated state subsidies for diesel fuel to the agricultural sector. His counterpart in these operations was Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan. (source)


Foreign media also pay special attention to this issue, assessing the fact that the rights of poor Armenians are being violated, who suffer from Sargsyan’s greed for budget subsidies and fuel and lubricants in the regions, and this is a characteristic feature of the corrupt nature of Serzh’s government. (source)

Sargsyan is also accused of wasting budget funds in other ways. It is said that he inflated a large amount of budget funds and directed it according to his material interests when providing a fuel supply to government agencies by making the Maksur company win in a fake tender. (source:

Sargsyan also misappropriated budget funds for the country’s defense and military industry. Mike Sarian, president of Prime Healthcare, an American-American philanthropist of Armenian descent, said that $15 million worth of medical equipment and supplies had been sent to Armenia’s Ministry of Health and Defense for two years in a row during Sargsyan’s rule. It turned out that these goods were sold in markets and misappropriated. (source:

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that the Kocharyan-Sargsyan regime misappropriated ammunition and food supplies intended for military units. “The “general” who sold “soldier’s stew” and is already burning in hell, Serzhik’s right-hand man, shows the true face of the Armenian army and that of Serzhik. What words does a general who sells “soldier’s stew” during war deserve? Another right-hand man of Serzhik’s, war criminal who served as defense minister during the war, was recently arrested in Armenia for theft. He was buying faulty weapons and pocketing the money. We have ample information about this – both before and during the war,” Ilham Aliyev said.

The results of the investigation into the abuse of power of the relevant officials of the Armenian Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces in the Main Military Investigation Department of the Armenian Investigative Committee also show that Sargsyan sponsored these economic crimes. Serious violations committed during the provision of housing for servicemen of the Ministry of Defense, bribery and corruption in the misappropriation of 29 apartments in a 71-apartment building were carried out with the direct blessing of the former president. (source:

There is also indisputable evidence that Serzh Sargsyan owns real estate abroad. He did this through his brother Alexander Sargsyan’s real estate and construction company in the US. (source:

The State Revenue Committee of Armenia has confirmed the fact of the corrupt actions of Alexander Sargsyan, the owner of Hana MEK LLC. Sargsyan’s youngest son, Narek Sargsyan, founded Hana-Trans LLC, a transport and freight company in Armenia, and evaded taxes by failing to pay millions of dollars in VAT on trade transactions. His other company operating in Vardenis squandered the Military Insurance Fund’s assets under the guise of an investment program. (source:

Narek Sargsyan

Alexander Sargsyan was detained as a result of an operation carried out by the Armenian National Security Service in connection with a large-scale embezzlement and corruption.

Photo: Sargsyan awards his brother

Narek, Lyova Sargsyan and his children are also under investigation on suspicion of illegally obtaining large amounts of income and not including it in his income statement. Lyova Sargsyan and his daughter Ani Sargsyan and son Narek Sargsyan are accused of hiding $6.8 million. However, although Lyova Sargsyan and his daughter submitted a declaration to the ethics commission on the property and income of high-ranking officials during the reporting period in 2017 (under the Public Service Law), they did not declare about $7 million in bank deposits. (source: regnum)

Serzh Sargsyan also managed to misappropriate state funds by opening a company registered on the name of his brother-in-law Ara Minasyan. Thus, part of the money allocated by the state for healthcare was transferred to “St. Gregory Illuminator” medical center's director Ara Minasyan, under the name of “providing the population with medical services” and a large economic criminal system was established. Some 545 million drams ($1.9 million) belonging to the state were laundered at the medical facility. (source)

Photo: Sargsyan family’s criminal network

Sargsyan’s son-in-law Mikayel Minasyan is also involved in corruption. Armenian tax authorities and the State Revenue Committee made serious allegations about his involvement in the circulation of counterfeit assets and money laundering. Tax authorities say Minasyan used his political and economic influence in various sectors of the Armenian economy during his tenure as Armenia’s ambassador to the Vatican in 2013-2018. (Source:

There is concrete evidence that Armenia has been cultivating drugs in the occupied Azerbaijani territories for many years. Speaking at a video conference meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State on October 15, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the territories were used for drug trafficking and training of international terrorists. (source)

The reality is that the head of the criminal regime, Sargsyan, was also a link in the drug trade. The economic wealth of Karabakh has been appropriated by foreign companies that are close partners of the Armenian Diaspora. The main role in this case was played by the “Karabakh clan,” where one of the main figures is again Serzh Sargsyan.

“Sargsyan is a symbol of corruption,” these views are often voiced in Armenian society. Hrant Mikaelyan, a social research specialist at the Caucasus Institute in Armenia, made it clear during Sargsyan’s presidency that corruption had become one of the most hotly debated topics in public in Armenia. Corruption is widespread in all branches of government in Armenia. As many Armenian citizens believe, the problem of corruption is more closely linked to those in power in the economy and the political elite. The corruption network of the ruling elite (we are talking about 2013-2018) was created on the basis of the provision of expensive projects to businesses of relatives at the expense of state funds, involvement in state tenders and so on. The group has “matured” in tax evasion and money laundering, as well as transferring them to secret offshore accounts. (source:

Global corruption surveys, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) regularly show that corruption is widespread in Armenia. Transparency International’s 2016-2017 Corruption Perceptions Index reports that the level of corruption in Armenia is growing by 18-20 points every year, and that it is strengthening its position in the Central Asian region in the group of 110-150 countries. Previously, the corruption rate in the country was below 50%, but in 2017 it reached 69%. According to this indicator, Armenia was on a par with countries such as Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea and Syria. (source:

A report released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2017 also said that Sargsyan’s government was timid in its fight against corruption and had not taken any effective action. The report noted that no steps are taken within the law against corruption in Armenia, and law enforcement agencies are not active in this direction. Corruption is more prevalent in the economy, public administration, and among high-ranking officials.

Conclusion: During the rule of former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, he was not only remembered for terror, arrest and persecution of his opponents. He is remembered by the Armenian people as the creator of large-scale corruption schemes, embezzling large sums of money, a gambler and a traitor.