Wow! Armenia is a Banana Republic after all!

A most incredible story was published by Hetq today:

In 2006, Armenia imported 8,614 tons of bananas; 7,056 tons from Ecuador, 1,509 from Costa Rica, 38.2 from Guatemala, 3.2 from Thailand and .2 tons from Iran. In the same year Armenia exported 3,002.2 tons of bananas to the Bahamas and 90.7 tons to Georgia. (emphasis is mine)

In 2007, Armenia imported some 17,198 tons of bananas, almost twice as much as in 2006. Armenia didn’t export any bananas in 2007.

I’ve made a little map to illustrate the locations of a) Armenia b) Equador c) Bahamas to illustrate, that it is entirely impossible that Armenia could have imported bananas from Ecuador to ship it back to Bahamas. It is just nonsense. Here’s what Edik Baghdasaryan has to say on this regard:

For years on end, state bodies have presented figures that have not been credible. When the press, politicians and economists expressed their doubts regarding these numbers the official bureaucrats would immediately claim that their figures were indeed correct. It is clear to all that Armenia does not export bananas either to the Bahamas or to Georgia. Any documentation
to this effect has been falsified within Customs and it can be ruled out that the National Security and Tax Services, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Heads of various Inspectorates aren’t aware of the shenanigans taking place.

The reality is entirely different that what is being presented. During the years in question huge amounts of bananas, several times more than registered by the State Council on Statistics and the State Customs Committee, were imported into Armenia. According to official statistics, 17,200 tons of bananas were imported by Armenia in 2007, almost twice the amount imported in 2006. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that in 2007 Armenians started to eat twice as many bananas. Simply put, during those years that difference in the amount of bananas, some
8,000 tons, was never officially recorded; a part of the black market.
The “Godfather of Bananas” was Grisha Harutyunyan, the former Deputy Chief of the National Security Service. He in fact owns “Ketrin Ltd”. He has been lining his pockets with untaxed profits for years on end. We’re not talking about $1 or $2 million, but rather tens of millions
of dollars. This money that should have gone to raising pensions, build schools and water systems. Instead, Mr. Harutyunyan invested these ill-gotten gains into the construction of elite apartment houses. He owns “Griar Ltd” and other businesses. How much of all this remains in the “shadows” is anybody’s guess. Only Grisha Harutyunyan and certain key officials know for sure.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


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  2. ??? I am wondering about the logistics that made it possible to import bananas from South America and then export them to the Caribbean.
    Is there a link to the official statistics that Hetq analyzes?

  3. This is ridiculous! I know our people love exaggerating, but going this far? Do they think people around are stupid?

  4. Lidia,
    Every day and every way, they demonstrate that they do think people are stupid. It’s up to the people to show them otherwise.

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