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2018 December 17

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Dec/17/2018: Transport Ministry staff charged with covering up a missing 428mln // Yerevan municipality & ministry staff charged with illegal construction // Mayor's office finds more schools with shady finances // Court protects Pashinyan's free speech // more below...
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.

Another Monday, another pile of քաք that դուրս եկավ ջրի եռես․ Take it away...

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During the investigation of South-Caucasus Railways company's tax shortcomings, the SIS has uncovered evidence of other crimes. An employee of Ministry of Transportation is facing abuse of power charges.

On February of 2008, Ministry of Transport authorized the lease of Armenian railways to a Russian company for the duration of 30 years, in exchange for 174bln various investments in the infrastructure. The Ministry was authorized to audit the railway company once a year to make sure the contract was being followed through.

Ministry signed a 40mln contract with a third party auditing company for the job. On 2015, the auditors submitted the 2008-2013 audit results, which showed 428mln in under-delivered investments by the railway giant.

The former deputy Minister of Transportation (2nd guy in charge) then allegedly covered-up the audit results and did not notify the law enforcement of the missing 428mln. Criminal case is launched.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958448.html

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Yerevan municipality and the law enforcement have begun a criminal investigation against employees of municipality, various Ministries and government funded organizations, for abuse of power and negligence, which led to illegal building constructions since 2009. The suspects falsified documents on 2012, which also caused harm to residents.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958400.html

...

Mayor Hayko Marutyan says they've discovered some schools with as many as 9 deputy directors, all receiving salaries for something that should have been done by others. In some schools, the number of registered teachers was higher than the actual teachers, while the salaries for the non-existent ones were distributed among others. The municipality plans to end the illegal practices. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958425.html

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Ministry of Justice will launch a new websites on January, which will allow residents to anonymously inform about bribery and other forms of corruption. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958446.html

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Robert Kocharyan had earlier sued PM Nikol Pashinyan with an attempt to prevent him from publicly discussing his arrest and trial case. The judge has just denied the plaintiff's request, citing the fact that it would limit Pashinyan's freedom of speech granted by the Constitution. https://hraparak.am/post/860666114

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PM's spokesman says Pashinyan has always brought up the issue with weapons supplies from Russia to Azerbaijan during meetings with Putin, after Belarus president Alexander Kuklashenko complained that only Belarus was being "unfairly criticized for a few Polonez weapon sales". https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958382.html

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Electoral Committee has certified the Parliamentary Election results. The numbers haven't changed.

QP 88, BHK 26, Bright Armenia 18 seats.

4 out of those 88 QP seats will be held by ethnic minority MPs, who are always part of the government.

The results can be challenged until December 21st.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150728

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There is a public feud between BHK and Bright Armenia party leaderships. The Bright's Edmon Marukyan responds to attacks by suggesting that BHK's "oligarch" Tsarukyan should quit politics like the other large businessmen have.

Accuses Tsarukyan of anti-competitive practices in the casino industry. Says BHK has always been pro-Serj and helped him on multiple occasions in past.

He plans to check every Parliamentary session to make sure Gagik Tsarukyan is present, or otherwise has the required valid documents showing a reason for absence. (Tsarukyan rarely attends Parliament despite being an MP).

Says BHK was one of the parties that received 300 uniforms during March 1st 2008, which were worn by hired thugs to commit various crimes. (SIS had earlier released a document as part of the new investigation, showing how people received money and gear to act as pro-Serj/Kocharyan mob).

Says BHK is using its news network Kentron to propagate a smear campaign against Bright Armenia.

The feud begun when Marukyan pressured Tsarukyan during the Parliamentary debate on live-TV, criticizing the thin line between his business and politics.

https://youtu.be/lrPxLyU5fzg?t=349

...

BHK responds to Marukyan. Says the law doesn't prevent businessmen from being politicians, and that "Tsarukyan isn't an oligarch because he doesn't use his political power to enrich himself".

Says the law passed earlier gave investors who invested $100mln in the economy more favorable conditions regarding the casino business, and that no one is preventing others from making such investments too. Says Tsarukyan's casinos cannot be a monopoly because another businessman was given identical casino privileges, but isn't using them.

Says they support the March 1st investigation. Denies the Marukyan's claim that Kocharyan is the real founder of BHK. Calls Marukyan "too small of a person" to be subject of Tsarukyan's center of attention, in response to Marukyan's claims that BHK sent him threats about not being able to walk on the streets on the daylight.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150772

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BHK member Enfiajyan (who was earlier caught using fake social media accounts and apparently violating election observing laws), calls for Edmon Marukyan to be arrested for allegedly lying to the Parliament on 2012 about being a resident of Armenia for at least 5 years. (the law requires MPs to be permanent residents for 5 years prior to serving in Parliament).

https://factor.am/108836.html

....

Informed Citizens denies Enfiajyan's claims that Marukyan broke the law on 2012. Says the law passed on 2011 does not define a temporarily relocated person (Marukyan studied abroad for over a year) as someone who isn't a "permanent resident".

Moreover, the law was clarified on 2016, and it explicitly states that if the person went abroad for an education needed for the public office job, the time spent abroad does not disqualify him. Absence for up to 2 years for any reason also does not disqualify the person, even if it was for non-education reasons.

https://fip.am/5470

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Food safety committee suspends manufacturer TUKASA for producing pelmeni and kotlets with high amounts of food bacteria. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958373.html

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Human's Rights Office had earlier challenged several 2017 laws in the Constitutional Court. The Court has just ruled the laws as unconstitutional. The Office says this will strengthen businesses's property and several other rights. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150747

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Russian and Armenian troops conducted a training involving military drones in the mountains. In another location, 100 Russian soldiers were conducting a joint training involving 50 tanks and other vehicles. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958459.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958462.html

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Russian FM Sergey Lavrov says Yerevan and Moscow are working on an agreement that will provide transparency around the work conducted by foreign medical laboratories in Armenia, to assure they aren't being used by the American military. It appears that some outlets have erroneously reported it as an agreement that prohibits military bases in general.

Foreign labs in Russia's neighboring nations (mostly Georgia and Ukraine) are currently a hot topic of discussion in Russia. Conspiracy theories have been circulated suspecting that western powers might be using them to cause biological harm to Russian farmers and their harvest, and to spread uncommon flue traces. The theories were fueled after Russia was hit by an unusually strong flue epidemic which came earlier than usual.

Few months ago, Armenian labs allowed Russian experts to enter the facilities and become familiarized with the work that was being done. The Russian experts did not find anything concerning.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263612/ ------ www.aysor.am/am/news/2018/12/17/Երևան-Լավրով/1504961

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All-Armenia fund will allow 171 Tavush families to receive solar energy next year, in addition to improving farming and providing new breeds of kettle for higher productivity https://hetq.am/hy/article/99331

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The government has authorized imports of certain medications that haven't been fully tested in Armenia yet, but have met the basic safety checks by the international medical bodies. Beginning next year, children will receive these cancer medications for free. The latest tuberculosis, HIV and malaria drugs also fall under the category. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVb9I-vmGnI

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Tourism grew 76%. Armenia became the #1 New Year travel destination for Russians. 12% cheaper air fares and low cost accommodations have contributed to the spike. There is a general trend of Russians traveling more towards neighboring nations than EU.

Tourism from China and India has doubled. 20% increase from USA. A decrease was seen from Iran due to their internal economic problems.

https://youtu.be/aVb9I-vmGnI?t=83

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Ayy you're not gonna believe this one. There are no training pools in Armenia for synchronized diving sport. The athletes jump individually, then during a competition in another country, they get an opportunity to jump together. That is essentially the only training they get together.

Despite that, the team won a bronze medal in European championship, and a silver medal in an international competition held in Ukraine.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150776

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Boxer Arman Darchinyan wins bronze in international competition held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958335.html

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Boxer Levon Hakobyan wins WBC champion's title http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263601/

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Boxer Artyom Dalakian (17-0, 12 КО) defends his WBA boxing championship title against Grigorio LeBron. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FXorl6h9oA ------- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958350.html

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Soccer Federation chief Arthur Vanetsyan says he has negotiated with a world famous soccer player to have him move to Armenia and help train teams and improve the sport in the country. Vanetsyan isn't allowed to reveal his name until January. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958372.html

(my money is on Yuri Djorkaeff)

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London Chess Tournament is underway. Levon Aronyan played a tie once more against the world championship runner-up Fabiano Caruana. The winner takes the 3rd place. https://www.a1plus.am/1654271.html

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Peto

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tarzfJ204eY




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