Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
I don't know who is the orderer of the criminal case against the "Civilitas" foundation, but there is no doubt that many people do not like our independent activity, director of the foundation, Salbi Kazaryan, told journalists today.
"The gifted young people with creative mentality have been working in the foundation. They raise social, political and economic problems of the country which are still relevant today. It is very much possible that such courage and independence of the foundation does not please some persons. And if this criminal case is a way to hinder our activity, it is the worst and the most senseless way", - Kazaryan said.
She thinks it is strange that before calling them to the National Security Service, representatives of the foundation did not receive any request from the State Revenues Committee, if we take into account that in the statement of the NSS they said about tax abuses. "It is strange that NSS has started investigating this case. This makes us think that the process was fabricated", - she said when replying to ArmInfo correspondent's question.
The criminal case against the Civilitas Foundation concerns the $2mln transaction for the sale of Huntsman Building Products, an Armenia-based company owned by US-based Polymer Materials and Huntsman International, says the National Security Service of Armenia.
"As a result of some inaccuracies in the contract, the transaction was not submitted to the tax authorities and therefore left untaxed. Of the charity funds left in Armenia according to the wish of the American side, as much as $1,135,000 was not spent for charity but was transferred to accounts opened by the founder and president of the Civilitas Foundation Vartan Oskanian and the Foundation's trustee Tigran Karapetyan, with part of the money used for personal needs. In its turn, contrary to its own charter, the Civilitas Foundation failed to report on the taxation of the $2mln provided to Polymer Materials and Huntsman International for charity," says the NSS, adding that the case stipulates tax inspections, trade analyses, interrogations.
In response to the NSS's report, Vartan Oskanian has repeated that the case is clearly politically motivated. "I want to say the following: money laundering, Oskanian, Huntsman are words that cannot be placed together in one sentence. In order for there to be money laundering, there must first be dirty money. In this case, the source of the funds are known, the buyer is known, the transfer of the funds to me and to Civilitas according to the donor's wishes have
been transparent and electronic. The attorneys have said that no tax obligation was created as a result of the transaction. And the donor's funds "shall be considered as a donation and the Recipient has the right to use in its discretion and for the implementation of its statutory objectives. Only those with political motivations will attempt to reduce a good man's good work to political currency," says Oskanian.