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Araks Mamulyan

Panama Papers Revisited: Switzerland Replies to Armenia's Request for Information on Mihran Poghosyan

Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) has received a response to an inquiry sent to Switzerland in the offshore business case of former Chief Compulsory Enforcement Officer Mihran Poghosyan.

The SIS confirmed the news to Hetq but would mot provide any details.

According to Hetq sources in the law enforcement sector, the response includes information on the bank accounts of the companies belonging to Poghosyan.

As a result of Hetq’s participation in a joint project of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) investigating the Panama Papers, we published an article on April 4, 2016 entitled “Mihran Poghosyan: The Armenian General Who Mastered the Ins and Outs of Panama's Offshore Zone

Hetq reported how Poghosyan used his Panama registered companies to conceal his annual income flows.

According to the documents declassified under the project, Sigma Real Estate Corporation and Hopkinton Trading Inc opened an account at Switzerland's LGT Bank (Suise) SA bank, with all the relevant documents and bank account information.

Mihran Poghosyan's office issued a statement after Hetq published it findings, stating that he did not have an account with LCT BANK (Suise) SA Bank.

 Poghosyan's assistant had sent an electronic inquiry to the bank, and the bank's response to not having an account was also attached to a statement released by Mihran Poghosyan's office.

It should be noted that the above investigation request was sent by SIS to Switzerland in May 2019.

This, then was the second time that Armenia sent a written request to Switzerland for information on the circumstances of the case.

The first request was not properly drafted and was rejected.

In response to a request from Hetq’s OCCRP partners, Ingrid Ryser, spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police, explained that Armenia’s first request for legal assistance was not satisfied because it did not comply with the mediation requirements.


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