Armenia's defense ministry may have "margarine headache"

Armenia's defense ministry may have
The scandal over supplying the Armenian army with margarine instead of butter continues to gain momentum.

Recently, the Armenian newspaper Past, citing its sources, reported that sensational detentions have begun in Armenia. It turned out that one of the Armenian companies has for many years been buying cheap margarine abroad and was supplying the army under the guise of expensive butter. Following inspections by the National Security Service, it was found out that the company pocketed millions of dollars in this scheme. The employees of the laboratory of the Agriculture Ministry, who falsified the documents on which margarine was supplied as butter, were detained.

Another Armenian media has discovered further information on the issue – the amount of margarine sold to the Defense Ministry hit 14 tons. The companies that won the supply tender, SP LLC and Eliser LLC, are connected with the deputy head of the Food Safety Service (FSS) Yeghishe Margaryan.

Margaryan owns one of these companies, and it was he who was forcing the employees to falsify the final results of examination and present the imported margarine as butter. Nevertheless, the employees do not admit the pressure – they note in their testimony that an error occurred during the examination.

However, Armenian journalists found out that no examination was carried out in the FSS. Following inspections conducted in the laboratory, no information on butter examination was found in computers. That is, without any product verification, the FSS issued an examination certificate that the imported margarine is allegedly butter. Theoretically, if the product contained poison or was expired, it would be anyway sent for consumption of Armenian soldiers.

All the information on the issue was obtained from unofficial but informed sources, while neither the Armenian Defense Ministry nor the Food Safety Service have so far commented on the situation. Many experts believe the reason for this silence may be attributed to the involvement of the Defense Ministry in this fraud. The ministry has even imposed a ban on negative information concerning the agency.

Thus, the assumption that the Armenian Defense Ministry is itself involved in the crime has reasonable grounds. This incident has once again revealed the deception and fraud reigning in the Armenian army as well as throughout the country.