An Armenian cargo firm has initiated bankruptcy proceedings against one of the country’s largest wineries owned by businessman Gagik Tsarukian, accusing it of failing to pay for 120 million drams ($252,000) worth of transport services provided to it.
The company, Daf Alco Trans, has shipped brandy distilled at Tsarukian Ararat Brandy Wine-Vodka Factory to Russia for almost a decade. Daf says that the factory stopped making payments for the shipments in February and has since ignored its repeated demands to clear the debt. It claims to have incurred 85 million drams in debts to two dozen subcontractors because of that.
A lawyer for Daf, Harutiun Harutiunian, said on Monday that the company warned Ararat in April that it could ask a court to declare the winery bankrupt. “We have still not received a reply,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
Daf had no choice but to file a bankruptcy petition, Harutiunian said, adding that Ararat will automatically be declared insolvent if it fails to present written objections within 15 days.
Ararat refused to comment on the accusations on Monday. A spokesperson said only that that company’s executive director will comment after returning to Armenia later this week.
The Yerevan-based brandy manufacturer, the oldest in Armenia, is part of Tsarukian’s Multi Group comprising more than four dozen mostly medium-sized companies. Tsarukian is also the founder and leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party, the largest opposition group represented in the country’s parliament.