Azerbaijani political analyst: Armenian TV marathon makes Karabakh even bigger money laundering hub
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 15 / Trend T. Hajiyev /
There is reason to believe that the television marathons held by the Hayastan Fund are used to turn Nagorno Karabakh into an even bigger money laundering hub for criminal groups, Center for Political Innovation and Technology Director and political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu told Trend today.
"Some very obvious changes have been made to the marathon lately," he said. "There is a growing difference between what is said, where the money is being transferred and how that money is being used."
He said the gathered funds were previously stated as amounting to $4-5 million. The money was used for various purposes. However, recently statements have been made that about $30 million were collected during the marathon. Roughly $15 million have been transferred to the account, and about $8-9 million have been spent for various some purposes.
"Over time, the number of legal Armenian millionaires taking part in these marathons is dropping, as is the number of participants," he said. "Not only the Armenian Embassy in the United States, but also the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, including former U.S. Ambassador to the country John Evans, are involved in organizing this marathon."
Earlier, an international Armenian criminal gang engaged in financial scams was detained in the United States. The detainees created a network of 118 non-existent health facilities in 25 states to receive insurance payments. As a result of the fraud, they misappropriated $163 million from the state budget. Armen Kazarian, also known as "Pzo," was the leader of the group.
The Hayastan Fund collects money for the separatist regime in Nagorno Karabakh by conducting such marathons annually.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding negotiations to resolve the dispute.
Armenia has failed to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions stipulating the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.