|Born||25 November 1956|
Arinj, Armenian SSR, USSR
|Political party||Prosperous Armenia|
|Alma mater||Yerevan Institute of Physical Culture|
Gagik Tsarukyan (Armenian: Գագիկ Ծառուկյան) is an Armenian businessman, politician, and former athlete. Tsarukyan is the founder and leader of the Prosperous Armenia political party, the largest opposition party in Armenia's National Assembly. He also owns various large-scale businesses and is believed to be one of the richest men in Armenia. He is seen as the most influential of Armenia's former government-connected oligarchs, and a key business partner of former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan.
Announcing his departure from politics for a hiatus in February 2015, he announced his return to politics in January 2017, forming the parliamentary Tsarukyan Alliance, an electoral alliance made up of Prosperous Armenia, the Alliance Party and the Mission Party. During the 2018 Armenian parliamentary election, Prosperous Armenia obtained 8.26% of the popular vote, coming in second and becoming the largest opposition party in parliament.
An avid sportsman, he practiced boxing, wrestling and arm wrestling, becoming world champion in arm-wrestling in 1996 and winning the European championship in 1998. Tsarukyan is also the president of Armenia's National Olympic Committee (he was reelected on December 4, 2008).
In July 2020 he was formally charged with bribery and corruption, right after the National Assembly voted for his immunity from prosecution as a member of parliament to be revoked.
Tsarukyan studied at Arinj village school. He met his future wife Javahir Tsarukyan in Arinj school, who was also studying at that same school. Tsarukyan was distinguished with physical abilities which influenced his higher education choices.
Tsarukyan graduated from Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture in 1989. He was involved in sports, mainly boxing, wrestling and arm wrestling. Gagik Tsarukyan is a world champion in arm-wrestling, winning a world championship in 1996 and the European championship in 1998.
Since 1989 Tsarukyan has been engaged in entrepreneurship. In 1997 he founded and presided Multi Group Concern group of companies which now includes more than 30 enterprises: Kotayk Brewery in Abovyan, Yerevan Chemical Pharmaceutical Company, "Mek" Network of Furniture Stores, Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory, etc. Tsarukyan is accused of depriving ownership rights of foreign investors in Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory.
Since 2003, Tsarukyan has been a RA National Assembly deputy. On May 25, 2003 he was elected as a deputy in the National Assembly of Armenia from District 42 after running unopposed, later becoming a member of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defense, National Security and Internal Affairs; he was not a member of a parliamentary faction during this term. In late 2005 he founded the Prosperous Armenia Party. During the first congress of Prosperous Armenia Party, on April 30, 2004, Tsarukyan was elected as its president. During the fourth congress of the party, on February 12, 2009, Tsarukyan was re-elected as the party president. He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the May 2007 parliamentary election from District 28 as a Prosperous Armenia candidate. Following this election he became head of the Prosperous Armenia parliamentary faction and a member of the Committee on the Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs in June 2007.
Conviction for rape
On October 1, 1979, by the verdict of the Judicial Board of the Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of the Armenian SSR, Judge A. Under Sargsyan's presidency, Tsarukyan was found guilty of gang rape and sentenced to imprisonment under Article 112 իմ 2 of the Criminal Code of the Armenian SSR for 7 years and Article 144 2 2 for 4 years. According to Article 37 of the Criminal Code of the Armenian SSR, Tsarukyan was sentenced to a total of 7 years in prison in a correctional labor colony.
Gagik Tsarukyan was born to Nikolay and Roza Tsarukyan. Nikolay was an electrical engineer by profession, but now engages in social activities. Roza is an accountant now managing the research-and-production center of "Multi Agro" LLC and at the same time is the honorable chairman of Prosperous Armenia Party Women council.
Gagik Tsarukyan is married to Javahir Tsarukyan. They have 6 children. Roza, Gayane, Emma, Anahit and Nver Tsarukyans graduated from Anania Shirakatsy Lyceum. Roza and Emma attended Yerevan State Medical University, and Gayane has graduated from Yerevan State University Faculty of Law. Hovhannes, the youngest child, is in school.
Gagik Tsarukyan started his business activities in the 1980s. During 1990-1992 he was the executive director of "Armenia" company and in 1992 he was involved in animal husbandry activities, establishing a dairy production enterprise in Arinj village near Abovyan. In 1995, Gagik founded and presided over Multi Group Concern, which now includes Kotayk Brewery in Abovyan, Yerevan Chemical Pharmaceutical Company, "Mek" Network of Furniture Stores, Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory, "Ararat" cement Factory, "Aviaservice" JSC, "Multi Stone" stone Processing Company, "Multi Rest House" Company, "Global Motors" CJSC, "Multi City House" Company and other companies and organizations.
In 2002, the Yerevan Ararat Brandy Factory was acquired by the Multi Group Concern, which invested around US$50 million-equivalent Armenian drams for the modernization and constructional works, in obtainment of new line of bottling and oak barrels.
Gagik Tsarukyan and sports
Tsarukyan took part in sports since his school years. He went for boxing, wrestling and arm wrestling. Tsarukyan was graduated from the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture in 1989, as a teacher of physical education and sports as well as a wrestling coach. Tsarukyan had achievements in sports, in 1996 he became world champion in arm-wrestling, and in 1998 he achieved the title of the champion of Europe.
Armenian Olympic Committee
Tsarukyan is the current president of the Armenian Olympic Committee, since 2005. Armenian athletes under the leadership of Gagik Tsarukyan showed an unprecedented result during 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, returning with 6 bronze medals.
On December 4, 2008 Gagik Tsarukyan was unanimously reelected as the Armenian Olympic Committee president by the general assembly of the committee.
Gagik Tsarukyan has been engaged in politics since 2000-s. Three years later during third convocation of National Assembly elections which took place on May 25, 2003 Gagik Tsarukyan was elected as NA deputy from 42 electoral district. During NA third convocation years Gagik Tsarukyan acted as independent deputy, was not represented in any faction or any deputy group. From 2003 till 2007 Gagik Tsarukyan was the member of RA NA Defense, National security and Interior affairs standing committee.
Prosperous Armenia Party establishment
Tsarukyan established Prosperous Armenia Party in 2004. That same year, during the party's first congress which took place on 30 April, Gagik Tsarukyan was elected as the president of the Party. As a result of the National Assembly elections of 12 May 2007, Prosperous Armenia Party received 204 443 votes receiving 25 mandates in NA. During the fourth congress of Prosperous Armenia Party which took place on February 12, 2009, Tsarukyan was reelected as its president. As a result of Prosperous Armenia Party fourth congress 93 member PAP political council was elected. Gagik Tsarukyan is the chairman of newly elected PAP Political council.
Gagik Tsarukyan–the chairman of NA Prosperous Armenia Party faction
Prosperous Armenia Party has 27 deputies in Armenia's National Assembly and Prosperous Armenia faction led by Gagik Tsarukyan, is the second in NA by its number of representatives. There are 25 members in "Prosperous Armenia" faction. Deputies Martun Grigoryan and Rustam Gasparyan are also the members of Prosperous Armenia Party.
On Sunday, June 14, 2020, Tsarukyan's house was searched and he was questioned for over 8 hours by the National Security Service. On the same day the NSS released a few statements regarding Tsarukyan. One stated that a group of BHK members, organized by the party's "leading members", were handing out bribes to voters in the 2017 parliamentary elections. Another statement accused to of Tsarukyan's gambling firms of financial irregularities costing over 29 billion dram ($60 million USD) in damages to the state. And a third case was announced saying that the administration of Arinj village had sold 7.5 hectares of community land to another Tsarukyan company illegally.
On June 15, law enforcement authorities requested that the national assembly strip Gagik Tsarukyan of his parliamentary immunity so he could be prosecuted. The national assembly voted unanimously to remove Tsarukyan's immunity on June 16, while the two opposition parties boycotted the vote, and Tsarukyan himself refused to answer any questions from fellow parliamentarians. Shortly after revoking his immunity, Tsarukyan has been charged with bribery and corruption, including buying 17,000 for his party during parliamentary elections held in April 2017.
He was arrested on September 25.
On November 11, after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, he was arrested among other opposition leaders on charges of "illegal conduction of rallies". On November 13 they were freed after a Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction deemed their arrests unlawful.
Multi Group Concern
Tsarukian owns several businesses and rose to prominence in the late 1990s as a minority shareholder in a French-owned brewery in Abovyan. His business holdings have since expanded, aided by his close ties with then President Robert Kocharian.
Tsarukyn's Multi Group Concern holding company founded in 1995, currently includes more than 40 large and small businesses. In March 2006, Tsarukyan sold his 29% share in the Kotayk Brewery to French beer magnate Castel Group for about US$4 million. In 2011, Tsarukyan acquired the Kotayk Brewery to become the sole owner of the factory.
Businesses that are part of the Multi Group conglomerate include:
- Yerevan Chemical-Pharmaceutical Firm OJSC, founded in 1967, part of Multi Group since 1995, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Avia Service CJSC (travel services), founded in 1995, part of Multi Group since 1997, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Euromotors CJSC (BMW importers in Armenia), founded in 1998.
- Technalyumin LLC (furniture manufacturers), founded in 1998, Abovyan, Armenia.
- Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory OJSC, founded in 1877, part of Multi Group since 2002, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Ararat Cement CJSC, founded in 1927, part of Multi Group since 2002, Ararat, Armenia.
- Multi Group Stone CJSC, founded in 2002, Abovyan, Armenia.
- Multi Gas LLC (suppliers of compressed natural gas across Armenia), founded in 2002.
- Multi Leon LLC (suppliers of liquefied compressed natural gas across Armenia), founded in 2000, part of Multi Group since 2003.
- Multi Agro Beekeeping Scientific Production Center, founded in 2003, Arinj, Armenia.
- Multi Rest House hotel complex, opened in 2007, Tsaghkadzor, Armenia.
- Magas Invest CJSC, (official representative of Hyundai in Armenia) opened in 2006.
- Multi City House CJSC, founded in 2007, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Global Motors CJSC, (official representative of Lada in Armenia), founded in 2008.
- Multi Motors LLC, (official representative of Opel and GAZ in Armenia), founded in 2008.
- Shustov Trade House CJSC (alcoholic beverage retailers), founded in 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Bellezza LLC (clothing importers), founded in 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.
- "AR-BE" Armenian-Belarusian Trading House LLC, founded in 2010, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Kotayk Brewery LLC, founded in 1974, part of Multi Group since 2011, Abovyan, Armenia.
- Onira Club LLC (Pharaon leisure and entertainment complex), opened in 2013, Yerevan-Abovyan highway, Armenia.
- Olympavan LLC (Olympic training center), opened in 2013, Yerevan, Armenia.
- Multi Grand Hotel, opened in 2014, Yerevan-Abovyan highway, Armenia.
- Firma New LLC ("Arinj Mall" shopping center), opened in 2015, Arinj, Armenia.
- Multi Wellness Center sports complex, opened in 2016, Yerevan, Armenia.
Low income reporting and tax payments
Despite maintaining an extravagant lifestyle, Tsarukyan's companies post only modest revenues. His Ararat Cement factory —officially the most profitable of his businesses— occupies only the 45th place in the Armenian Statistical Service's annual ranking of tax payers, with tax contributions totaling 1.3 billion drams in 2007 (about US$3.8 million in 2007). In contrast, another smaller Ararat-based plant (which smelts gold ore) paid more taxes despite standing idle during much of 2007 due to a change of ownership.
Despite being lucrative, the vast majority of Tsarukyan's Multi Group businesses were not included in the list of the country's leading corporate taxpayers released by the Armenian government in early 2005.
Awards and medals
In 2003 upon the decree determined by the president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan the president of Armenian National Olympic Committee Gagik Tsarukyan, who had his great input in the development of RA sports, was honored with Movses Khorenatsi medal.
On September 17, 2008 upon RA president Serzh Sargsyan decree, Tsarukyan was honored with "Services provided to the motherland" first rank medal for the great input he had in the development of RA sports and physical education.
On May 11, 2009 Tsarukyan was awarded with "European of the Year" by the International European movement.
On September 12, 2009 European Judo Federation honored NOCA president Gagik Tsarukyan with gold medal.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan:: Political Career". Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- "Armenia: Election Campaign Gets Off To Uneasy Start", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 19, 2007.
- Danielyan, Emin (March 3, 2006). "ARMENIA: "OLIGARCHIC" PARTY GAINING GROUND AHEAD OF 2007 VOTE". Eurasianet.org. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
- David Petrosyan. The Political System of Armenia: Form and Content. Caucasus analytical digest Archived 2010-01-08 at the Wayback Machine (No.17. 21 May 2010) "The Prosperous Armenia party is a political project founded by former President Kocharyan and led by the oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan, who is a key business partner of Kocharyan"
- Armenian Weekly: Gagik Tsarukyan Officially Announces Return to Armenian Politics
- "The president of Armenian National Olympic Committee Gagik Tsarukyan". Archived from the original on 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan was reelected as ANOC president". Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Prominent Oppositionist Set To Lead Armenian 'Oligarchic' Party". Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL). January 11, 2006. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
Tsarukian is seen as the most influential of Armenia's government-connected "oligarchs" who are not averse to flaunting their wealth amid widespread poverty. They usually live in huge mansions and travel in motorcades made up of luxury cars with virtually identical license plates. Most of them hold sway in a particular area of the country. Tsarukian and Aleksanian, for example, ran unopposed and were easily elected to parliament from their de facto fiefdoms in the last election held in May 2003.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan's family". Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- Profile on Armenian Parliament website.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan:: Career in Business". Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Gagik Nikolay Tsarukyan the president of "Multi Group" Concern". Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- ""Mek" Network of Furniture Stores". Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10.
- Liz Fuller. It is thought that Tsarukyan owns different huge businesses and is one of the richest men in Armenia. "Armenia: Election Campaign Gets Off To Uneasy Start", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 19, 2007.
- "Gagik Nikolay Tsarukyan was unanimously reelected as the leader of the party". Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- Համացանցում տարածվել է Գագիկ Ծառուկյանի մասնակցությամբ խմբակային բռնաբարության գործի մանրամասները
- Հրապարակվել է Ծառուկյանի մասնակցությամբ բռնաբարության գործի պատճեն
- "Roza Tsarukyan; Director of "Multi Agro" LCC". Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- "Party delegates started for Gegharkunik marz headed by PAP women council honorable chairman Roza Tsarukyan". Aravot. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan the founder of Multi Group Concern". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan the president of "Multi Group" Concern". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Mek" Network of Furniture Stores". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Ararat" Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Ararat" cement Factory". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Multi Stone" Stone Processing Company". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Multi Rest House" Company". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Global Motors" CJSC". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- ""Multi City House" Company". Archived from the original on 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan graduated from Armenian State university of Physical Education in 1989, was a teacher of physical education and sports and also a wrestling coach". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Armenian athletes returned with 6 bronze medals". Archived from the original on 2008-08-10. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "From 2003 till 2007 Gagik Tsarukyan was the member of RA NA Defense, National security and Internal affairs standing committee". Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- "As a result of National Assembly elections which took place on May 12, 2007 Prosperous Armenia Party led by Mr. Tsarukyan got 204 443 votes". Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan was unanimously reelected as the leader of Prosperous Armenia Party". Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan is the chairman of newly elected PAP Political council". Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Two nonpartisan deputies became members of Prosperous Armenia Party". Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "The deputy elected from Gyumri Martun Grigoryan is now a member of Prosperous Armenia Party". Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Armenian Opposition Leader Interrogated After Home Search (UPDATED)". «Ազատ Եվրոպա/Ազատություն» ռադիոկայան (in Armenian). Retrieved 2020-11-13.
- "Armenian Opposition Leader Interrogated After Home Search (UPDATED)". «Ազատ Եվրոպա/Ազատություն» ռադիոկայան (in Armenian). Retrieved 2020-11-13.
- "Armenian Parliament Allows Opposition Leader's Arrest". «Ազատ Եվրոպա/Ազատություն» ռադիոկայան (in Armenian). Retrieved 2020-11-13.
- Leaders of PAP, Homeland parties, ARF-D Supreme Body member and others arrested for illegal conduction of rallies Aysor, October 12, 2020
- Yerevan court overturns arrest of opposition leaders Armenpress, 13 November 2020
- ARMENIA: "OLIGARCHIC" PARTY GAINING GROUND AHEAD OF 2007 VOTE, Eurasianet, December 20, 2006.
- Sarkisian Denies Link With ‘Oligarchic’ Party, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), January 16, 2008.
- Press Review, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), March 30, 2006.
- Mining Giant Remains Armenia's Top Taxpayer, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), January 29, 2008.
- Sarkisian's Brother Admits Business Interests Abroad, Armenia Liberty, October 3, 2005.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan was honored with Movses Khorenatsi medal". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan was honored with "Services provided to the motherland" first rank medal". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan was awarded with "The best European of the year"". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Gagik Tsarukyan was honored with gold medal by European Judo Federation". Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- Tsarukyan accused of depriving German firm from its ownership in Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory
- Stockholders take Gagik Tsarukyan´s Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory to court
- Ostinvestor vs Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory Trial
- Due to Tsarukyan, German firm considers Armenia as unsafe place for investments
- Will Tsarukyan Pay German Firm?
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