TODAY.AZ / Politics

Armenia’s illegal activity in occupied Azerbaijani territories and Vejneli gold deposit liberated from occupation

01 November 2020 [17:46] - TODAY.AZ

By Trend

There are numerous facts about plundering of national resources by Armenians in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and the participation of foreign companies in this process, Trend reports.

In total, there were 160 deposits of various precious metals in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

There are deposits of gold, silver, mercury, copper, lead, coal, colored decorative stone and other deposits in Kalbajar, Lachin, Zangilan, Tartar districts.

Most of the gold, copper, zinc ores and concentrates, as well as concentrates of precious metals, which are an important export commodity of Armenia, are mined from the deposits in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, namely, gold - Soyudlu (Zod), Gizilbulag, Vejneli, polymetals - Mehman and copper-porphyry ore - Demirli.

The Vejneli gold deposit, located in the liberated Zangilan district, belongs to the quartz-gold-sulfide-bearing layers of the geological-industrial type. Some 25 gold-bearing quartz layers have been explored at the deposit. The reserves of C + C2 category have been calculated on 14, 15, 16, 19, 21 and 24 zones.

The Vejneli field was discovered by the Vejneli exploration team in 1959-1962. The geological exploration work was carried out in 1962-1971, 1976-1981 and 1983-1984.

The Vejneli gold deposit was approved by the Local Resources Commission in 1984 and included in the State Balance of Mineral Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The approved reserves include C1 category ore - 183,000 tons, gold - 2,169 tons; category C2 ore – 433,000 tons, gold – 4,347 tons.

In accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s order "On the exploration and development of a number of gold deposits of the Republic of Azerbaijan" dated February 5, 1996, an agreement was signed on August 20, 1997 between former Azergizil JSC and the US RV Investment Group Services LLS on the development and sharing of promising gold deposits of Gadabay, Gosha, Ordubad group (Piyazbashi, Agyurd, Shekerdara, Kalaki), Soyudlu, Gizilbulag and Vejneli to create a gold mining industry in Azerbaijan.

However, it was impossible to carry out work on these deposits due to the occupation of Soyudlu (Zod), Gyzylbulag and Vejneli deposits by the Armenia.

As a result of the successful operation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, the Azerbaijani territories are liberated from the occupation, the national resources belonging to Azerbaijani people, including the Vejneli gold deposit, are being returned.

Businessmen of Armenian origin from France, Canada, Switzerland and other countries having the relations with the Armenian diaspora participated in a large-scale looting operation in Armenia.

One of these criminals is Vartan Sirmakes, co-founder and CEO of the world famous Swiss watch brand Franck Muller Group.

Sirmakes was born in Istanbul in 1956 and moved to Switzerland at the age of 18. Currently, considered the financial sponsor of the Armenian diaspora in Switzerland, Simax is the founder of ArmSwissBank, which owns 7 brands and 14 manufacturing companies in the country.

Sirmakes invests greatly in various economy fields in Armenia. He opened the world's only representative office of Franck Muller company in Armenia. Sirmakes is one of the heads of the company.

Sirmakes was appointed Consul General of Armenia in France and was awarded with the Order of Merit for the Fatherland upon the decree of ex-President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.

The Armenian political leadership participated in the use of the fields not only with the help of foreign corporations, but also created fictitious companies in offshore zones. Former Armenian ambassador Kocharian, incumbent Armenian president Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are involved in this process.

The gold stolen by Sirmakes from the Soyudlu deposits in Kalbajar and Vejneli in Zangilan district is sold on the Swiss stock exchanges while the profit is invested in the banks of this country. Sirmakes is also a major investor in a number of programs on the sale of 999.9 carat gold bars in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

When Franck Muller company opened a representative office in Armenia in 2001, a company representative said that 18-carat gold and 550-pound platinum will be used to make gold watch frames.

The Swiss businessman is preparing to build a plant processing precious materials in Armenia. He announced his plan to build the plant six years ago, in 2014, and signed a memorandum with the Central Bank of Armenia.

To export gold to the world market, it is planned to open a refinery in Armenia in 2020. The main investor is Vartan Sirmakes.

In accordance with the official statistics, most of the products exported from Armenia are exported to Switzerland, the homeland of Vartan Sirmakes.

Switzerland is the second biggest exporter of Armenian products in 2019, with a 17.4 percent-share in export ($457 million).

Gold which is mined on the territory of Azerbaijan is brought to Armenia. After going through a certain stage of processing in Armenia, it is exported to the markets of third countries and is sold there.

The Azerbaijani General Prosecutor's Office filed a criminal case five years ago against Sirmakes and put him on the international wanted list.

It is obvious proceeding from the investigative materials that the Azerbaijani side received enough information about the illegal economic activity of Sirmakes and, in particular, his involvement in the illegal use of gold deposits.

All these files were submitted to the General Prosecutor's Office of the Swiss Confederation.

In accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s order, the damage caused by Armenia to Azerbaijan will be thoroughly assessed in occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Along with civil property, infrastructure, cultural monuments, etc., on the basis of files on the illegal use of Azerbaijani natural resources, the damage caused by Armenia to Azerbaijan will be assessed. All necessary measures will be taken to bring Armenia, its past and incumbent leaders, foreign companies and their heads to justice.

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