2019 April 16

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & Main Apr/16/2019: Supreme Court vs Serj's bodyguard.... Offshore kingpin's location known.... Zartonq mayor charged.... School director..... Dodi Gago's gas station fined.... Water company busted.... more farm subsidies...... more stories 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.

Update on Panama Papers: NSS knows where HHK Mihran Poghosyan is. Pogohosyan's office says they gave the address to NSS. He is on the run in Moscow, Russia. There is an arrest warrant for him.

He was charged yesterday after prosecution said he used offshore firm belonging to him for illegal activities, and few other unlawful actions relating to plundering state resources.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159167 ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/971489.html

Serj's former chief bodyguard Vachagan Ghazaryan was arrested last year. Prosecutors said he failed to properly disclose his income as required by law, and enriched himself illegally.

Ghazaryan challenged the law that required bodyguards to disclose their wealth, and took it to Constitutional Court. Today the court ruled that the law is Constitutional.


Tavush investigators say the former school director of Hovq abused his powers, stole property, employed two of her relatives since 2015 who received salaries but didn't work, falsified documents, employed another relative to work under school-run organization who never went to work.

She is facing several felony charges and is told to stay in the country.


Few weeks ago people complained that gas stations were scamming them, and some of them raised gas prices by 40% for no reason. The consumer protection agency begun investigating 6 gas stations, one of which belongs to BHK chief and MP Gagik "Dodi Gago" Tsarukyan.

The investigation has revealed that his gas station sold the gas at lower density, even though Gazprom-Armenia was providing higher density to them. As a result, people ended up paying more for the same gas.

The investigator says overall, the number of complaints have sharply reduced lately, and beginning May 1st the new law requiring gas to be measured by weight instead of density will solve 99% of the problems.

One other gas station was found to have a similar problem. Both will pay a 50k-100k penalty. The investigator says they have asked the government to raise the penalty fee because 100k means nothing for gas stations and cannot serve as a preventative measure.


Update: Tsarukyan's cement factory workers received a letter about mass layoffs, despite the fact that the government agreed to tax imported cement. The factory says other tariffs are necessary, and that the layoffs are done to maximize their profit, and not to save the company from bankruptcy.

The workers are still protesting. They shut down a road leading to the factory. They complained that the media wasn't covering their story fairly.



Tsarukyan blamed his company's layoffs on the government for not placing tariffs on another type of cement material imports.


Update: Zartonq residents earlier protested against their mayor. He resigned. SOC launched an audit after the complains.

6 residents, who participated in the April 2016 battles, were supposed to receive financial aid but had their money stolen by the mayor, say the authorities. The investigators also found that he embezzled charity money dedicated to these soldiers.

He is charged with 2 felonies and is told not to leave the country.


Healthcare Ministry earlier contacted the NSS and reported that the SOC (State Oversight Committee) was endangering the patients during their audits of medical suppliers. The NSS investigation revealed that several SOC employees abused their powers and helped a company to win a medical license. SOC later published details claiming no laws were broken, and suggested that the medical supplies prices were lowered as a result of the actions to improve competition among medical suppliers.

Two SOC employees were arrested, and at least one was later released. There are rumors that the SOC chief himself has been questioned several times as a suspect. SOC chief wrote that the investigation will soon end and the public will see that he is innocent. He criticized the "sensationalized coverage of the story on social media".

https://factor.am/142276.html ---- https://factor.am/142265.html ---- https://news.am/arm/news/507604.html

Another water company is busted by NSS and police.

Prosecutors say Lori water usage association's administrators abused their powers. They are accused of stealing funds collected from Lernavan water users.

Prosecutors: the administration also hired a person who never went to work but received 1.4mln in salaries. They then falsified documents to create fake contracts under that person's name.

4 felony charges are pressed.


Kotayk governor Romanos Petrosyan says the Charentsavan municipality gave the city's main park for a 25-year lease to a private company only for pennies, on 2005. Just as in the case of Hrazdan, it needs to be returned to the public, said the governor. The negotiations with the private company failed, however. The governor says the law still requires the company to abide by the code that requires the green zones in the park to be protected. He says Charentsavan is willing to use its own resources to renovate the park if its returned to the city.


The Parliament has rejected a BHK proposal to require new soldiers to undergo a mandatory 1-year training before being sent to front lines. The Defense Ministry said they already have a lengthy training course before front lines. MPs said 1 year is too long and will cause defense issues.



BHK MP suggested adding a cross to the Armenian flag https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGwGl1As7us


Parliament was fired up. LHK was arguing and interrupting QP. QP was blaming BHK of empty populism by suggesting unnecessary bills. BHK chief was bragging about their record, etc. (a normal day)


Last year we learned that the government was planning to help farmers to protect their crops from natural disasters. Steps were taken to establish agricultural net (ցանց) production.

The Agricultural Ministry will subsidy this crop protection. 2% interest rate instead of 14%. 7 years to pay. Bordering farms or cooperatives will pay 0% interest. There is a monetary limit to make sure only small farms take advantage. The nets will protect from hail, large insects, wind, birds.


Azerbaijan is open to accepting Armenian journalists to the country. A meeting took place between foreign ministers yesterday. They also agreed to let prisoner families to visit their relatives in both countries.

Earlier this year, an Azeri media organization visited Armenia and took several interviews.


Employment numbers. Over 50,000 new jobs. Thousands of new businesses.


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bdzgep/anticorruption_main_apr162019_supreme_court_vs/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports