Another cheated major investor in Armenia (video)
On October 10 Canadian businessman of Greek origin Mr. Vasilios (Bill) Mavridis called lurer.com. Mr. Vasilios Mavridis was the Chief Executive Officer of Caldera Resources Inc. from December 2008 to March 2012. During the telephone conversation it turned out, while making an investment in Armenia, he suffered losses. He began cooperation with “Global Gold Mining” in 2009, which belongs to Van Grigoryan. According to the businessman he suffered $4.5 million loss. You can familiarize with the details of the story in his exclusive interview with lurer.com.
1. You told Lurer.com that you incurred losses while cooperating with “Global Gold Mining” company. How did your cooperation with the company begin? What complaints do you have?
I’d like to take this opportunity first of all to thank lurer.com to allow me from Montreal, Canada to make my presentation, about our experience with Global Gold corporation Mr Van Grigoryan working in Armenia. We started it with Global Gold back in 2009, will be signed an initial agreement to cooperate on developing the “Marjan” project. By March 2010 we signed a final agreement. Unfortunately, once we started confirming that there was Golden property Global Gold did everything they could to cancel the agreement. I think it’s just the function of greed. I’m not a lawyer, but you make a business deal and you shake hands on the deal and as you sign the agreement between people especially with Mr Van Grigoryan who’s supposedly a very reputable person who’s very active in the Armenian community, He’s, I think, former chairman of Armenian Assembly of America, he’s a member of the border of trustees, he’s worked as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. representing the Armenian Cause and he’s had many business dealings in Armenia, and has many many contacts including the President’s Office, the PM’s Office and the US embassy. So, when you do a deal, you do the intends of the deal, but when someone like Van Grigorian comes in and tries to take the deal back by renegotiating the deal, reinterpreting the deal, it’s very difficult to do a business with a man like that and unfortunately he realized we’re not going to back down and he did everything in his power including corrupt actions to try to take the project away.
2. How much money did you invest? How much was paid to state budget?
I initially dealt with Global Gold and Van Grigorian to pay $3 million for the project, which included initial exploration of the project. So, we raised over million over $ 4million to work on this project on Marjan itself – exploration, geology, employees, drilling, analysis over $1.2 million dollars was spent. We also paid concession and license fees for 2010 and 2011 over $100 thousand and we paid Global Gold directly cash $150 thousand. And he suggested to the beginning if we had a project today, we’re going to spend another $10 million on the project. Global Gold through the Administrative Court took the project back but to this day hasn’t spent one penny on the project. In fact, they claimed to spend this $3 million on the project but from my analysis I spend more than million dollars and he never mind the project. He hasn’t done anything and he still is not doing any mining. So they do all the benefits to the project but they don’t want to do anything on the project and the reason he wanted it back is simple: gold prices when we signed the deal rose, so I believe because of greed Global Gold Mr Van Grigorian decided that selling it to “Caldera” for $3 million was very cheap and he took the project back, he wanted it back and he did everything in his power including corruption to get it back and this is where we are today.
3. How have you been cheated? Will you detail?
Well, the list is too long to cover it on this interview, there’re a lot of details to cover. But when Global Gold told us there were reserves on the project, it turns out there are no reserves on the project. When Global Gold got a license on “Marjan” project it’s clear that the license was illegally given. Global Gold knew this and I think this is one of the reasons that they wanted to get involved to say: look Caldera came here to do the work, they didn’t do the work, they acted illegally, it’s their fault. It’s not our fault. The license clearly was not properly issued and clearly Global Gold for 3 years did no work on the project, when it’s supposed to. And they know to get it back they fought illegal criminal complaint against this, they corrupted. The Prosecutor’s name is A.Afandyan, who signed a letter, which said we stole the project when I had clearly document that he sold it to me. Then they started criminal investigation that lasted for 11 months. After that they took the criminal investigation and sent letters to everybody in Armenia from the Minister to the PM, calling Bill Mavridis from “Caldera” a criminal, Azat Vardanian from “Marjan” a criminal and also calling head of registry department Arthur Azaryan that he claimed he took bribes to try to paint us. From there they went to the US embassy and made lies to the US embassy and I don’t know why the US embassy did this, but the ambassador Iovanovich visited PM Tigran Sargsyan. By June 14 they sent a letter to PM Tigran Sargsyan to inform about our criminal activity. But what criminal activity? The criminal investigation showed there were no activities. President Obama through the Ambassador comes to the PM Tigran Sargsyan and tells him Global Gold is a friend of ours they are not being treated well and you should do something about it. I don’t blame Mr Sargsyan for passing the order to system and telling the judge to make sure they’ll rule in favor of Global Gold. But that is corruption. We know that the regional judge Kristina Mikoyan had to accuse herself because of the links to Global Gold. And then the new judge Hakobyan ruled in favor of Global Gold 2 weeks after the US embassy got involved. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, because the corruption was much further including Koryun Hakobyan, who is the head of the concession department, who helped the Global Gold to avoid their problems.
4. What further steps are you going to take?
You have to understand that the arbitration in the US is still going on, even though the arbitrator had passed one ruling, all he ruled was that the agreement was not effective. We had an agreement form December 2009 but that agreement says that the Global Gold is going to enter into an agreement with us. My understanding of that is that it’s very clear that Global Gold has to sign the deal with “Caldera”, Global Gold has to do the deal on “Marjan” and we’ll fight to the end. I have been informed by lawyers in Armenia several times that the results of the administrative court and appeals appear to be corrupted. I believe once it’s fully investigated by the Ministry, the license will be cancelled and the license should be canceled. It’s illegally issued, there are no reserves on the property it’s impossible to get a mining license without reserves. And this is the matter we’ve seen many times with Global Gold. Even today I understand that the Ministry of Natural Resources has issued a report and has sent it to Global Gold. Unfortunately the Global Gold is hiding it and the license should be cancelled because it was illegally issued, there are no reserves on the property. Whole the work what Global Gold did I believe falsification , we were unable to confirm that. It’s a problem to do a business in Armenia because of the corruption. In Armenia people are hard working, they are honest, they want a good day’s pay for a good day’s work and investors like I help to promote people of Armenia. But, unfortunately, people like Global Gold and Van Grigoryan can change the situation in their favor all the time. It’s regrettable, but this is where we are today.