2019 August 13
Anti-Corruption & News - Aug/13/2019 :: Yerevan garbage & Sanitek; in-depth explanation of situation ::: Sanitek & tax evasion ::: more North-South highway directors charged :: Speed camera Co founder charged ::: Free info for media :: Artsakh :: High tech growth :: Housing for Karabakh war refugees
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Levon Aronyan and Maxime Lagrave won the St. Louis rapid chess tournament. Aronyan defeated Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen. The second half of the tournament, the "blitz part", has begun.
The army is investigating how a 19 year old soldier ended up on the Azeri side of the border yesterday. They urge the public to take the Azeri side's explanation of soldier leaving position due to bullying, with a grain of salt, because they have a history of torturing and lying. The Red Cross will visit the soldier soon. The Defense Minister says they are still investigating, but he thinks the soldier wondered around and got lost.
The soldier visited home 10 days earlier on vacation and never complained about a mistreatment by fellow soldiers. The main theory among the close ones right now is that a dense fog made him walk the wrong direction.
Citing environmental reasons, Russia has joined Iran in opposition to a proposed east-west gas pipeline that could connect Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan to transfer Turmnen gas to Europe.
Armenian-Russian humanitarian aid project has sent 128 tons of meat, sugar, canned fish to Syria.
1H19 vs 1H18: Artsakh Republic birth are down 13%. Deaths are also down 13%. Natural growth is positive. The average age of woman having the first child is 24.8. The overall average age at the time of birth is 27.8.
Most popular names for girls: Maria, Mariam, Nare, Anna, Mari.
For boys: David, Tigran, Gor, Mark, Artur.
Most popular last names: Sargsyan, Grigoryan, Harutyunyan.
The leading cause of death is circulatory problems at 61% of all deaths (down from 73%), tumor's share at 20% (up from 13%), respiratory problems 9% (up from 2%)
Update: The Justice Department created a bill to make it free for media outlets to request official records through official channels. To regulate who qualifies for the free request, the bill mentioned the registration of a media outlet as such, so the government institutes can check to see if the outlet is registered (has office address, etc.) and confirm it qualifies to receive free info.
Some journalists didn't like the idea of "registering media outlets". Today, the government decided to change the wording to remove the registration part, and replace it with something closer to "institute of submitting a petition".
The new amendment will also allow internet-based media outlets to qualify for free requests. The amendment will be discussed further with journalists.
3,500 elevators belonging to apartment owners living in large apartment complexes need to be repaired or replaced due to aging. The project will cost around 32bln, which is beyond the reach of city budget in short term. The city has to create a plan to gradually replace them, partially through collecting fees from apartment owners.
4 years will be needed to replace 3.5k elevators. 20 will replaced soon as part of a 190mln pilot program.
Nikol Pashinyan met Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutyan in a new one-on-one format broadcasted live on Faceook. They spoke about the garbage collection problem and Sanitek. Here are the important parts:
[The problem begun last year around the time of elections. Company announced their trucks were breaking down due to bad roads.]
Mayor says the city pays Sanitek 5.2bln/year on time but Sanitek is unable to do their duties. Sanitek has to provide 16k metal garbage bins but only 100 metal ones exist, with total of 5k plastic/metal bins.
Contract says if the bin is 80% full, city gives Sanitek 3 hours to come and collect it before it reaches 100% fullness. Sanitek has been unable to do this. City issued them a penalty size of 3% of Sanitek's finances; Sanitek sued city citing penalties were unfair. Sanitek cannot claim this fine is the reason for them being unable to do their duties, because the 3% budget reduction isn't responsible for the bigger problem, and that the problem existed before the fine, says Marutyan.
At the time when the contract was signed with Sanitek in 2013, it was financially a "good deal". Marutyan says one problem is that Sanitek doesn't know the garbage collecting field in-depth and the truck fleet is insufficient. It was a mistake to give the entire city's garbage duties to one firm, no room of error.
Mayor says Sanitek, when first hired, claimed they had gained experience in Lebanon and Nigeria. During a recent press conference, however, the director said they worked in Turkey and Algeria. The document that claimed Sanitek had experience is a one-sheet document that doesn't provide much info. Mayor found this suspicious. Lebanon, where Sanitek is from, currently has a garbage collecting crisis, said Marutyan.
In 2013, Sanitek won the auction to service half of the city. In 2015, Sanitek won the auction to service the second half as well, defeating the purpose of dividing city in two halves to avoid problems in the event of one company being unable to do its duties. The contract is for 12 years (8 years left). Sanitek, mid-way through contract, now wants the city to give them more money. Marutyan says Sanitek should stick to the contract. It was doing duties fine before August-2018 elections, and there is no reason it should not be able to do it now. If Sanitek doesn't like it, they should cancel the contract, participate in a new contract auction, and try to win it again, says Marutyan. He says it's illegal and unfair to raise fees mid-way through contract.
[Simplified TLDR: The city is currently paying $100 to Sanitek for cleanup. Sanitek says they want $150. City says hopla hle hangstaci ape. If you want $150 then cancel the contract. We will launch a public auction for a new contract. Maybe another company will offer to do the work for $120, and we won't need to pay you $150.]
City needs 50+ garbage trucks to keep up with demand. Sanitek has 20+, but around a dozen work properly. The city itself recently purchased 16 trucks and plans to buy 8 more soon, then make it total of 39 by city. City's trucks work 24/7.
Mayor says Sanitek refused to alter the contract to hold a new auction for a 2nd company to handle half of the city. When the city offered to lease its own soon-to-be purchased trucks to Sanitek, mayor says the company deliberately dragged its feet and sabotaged the negotiations by making ridiculous demands. Mayor thinks they are purposely buying time just to get paid.
[Later when the city purchased the trucks from Kamaz, they were sued by a 3rd truck-producing company alleging violations in auction process. This 3rd company claimed the auction terms were unfair because their trucks didn't meet "unfair" engine horsepower demands. Mayor says the engine power they demanded were met by trucks produced by 6 firms, was competitive, and wasn't done deliberately to push the 3rd company out of auction. Mayor says the garbage fields have steep hills which require certain minimum engine power so the trucks won't break down easily.]
City then asked Sanitek to at least bring 1,500 more garbage bins if they can't bring trucks, so the garbage won't overflow onto the streets, and allow the existing few trucks to come and collect it. Sanitek only brought 200 bins. City decided to buy its own bins. When city begun installing its own bins, Sanitek got upset that their broken bins were being replaced with city's new ones, and they told the city not to touch their bins. That's when mayor begun suspecting that Sanitek is simply sabotaging city's garbage collection.
Pashinyan, citing earlier rumors that Sanitek has connections with the former regime, asked whether it could be deliberately sabotaging the work.
Context: earlier several media outlets wrote that the Lebanon-based Sanitek is associated with HHK administration, particularly former mayor Taron Margaryan and Serj's brother Levon Sargsyan. The latter is on the run from the law enforcement and - according to several outlets - is hiding in Lebanon with the help of a former Lebanon-based ARF politician. His known Armenian bank accounts were frozen last year and >14bln was recovered to budget.
In 2013, Sanitek was tasked with bringing X number of metal bins. They brought only cheaper and fewer plastic ones. Pashinayan is asking why the former mayor allowed this to happen.
Marutyan says if they were to cancel contract with Sanitek now, it would take 1.5 years to organize a new auction, bring someone, give them time to settle, have them begin the cleanup. That is the absolute last option and would cause more harm than good if done right now. Marutyan says the situation has somewhat improved since the city begun collecting garbage itself. Davtashen district's garbage is being collected properly now, says Marutyan.
Sargsyan in Lebanon info https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW8RutqA39k
TLDR video https://youtu.be/Kht_tytHlw8
Tag: Sanitek garbage collection. Sanitek trash. Yerevan trash. Facebook live.
Earlier we learned that Yerevan garbage collector Sanitek's boss didn't want to visit Yerevan because he was afraid of being arrested. Today, the IRS revealed that Sanitek was charged with evading 580mln in taxes between January-September of 2018.
Also "չեն ներկայացվել 2018 թ. բնապահպանական հարկի և բնօգտագործման վճարի միասնական հարկային հաշիվները". Nature protection agency is investigating.
Update: investigators released a mock video showing how the wannabe assassins detonated a bomb targeting former MP oligarch Shshi Melo's car on Sevan highway. (3 suspects were arrested earlier)
The prosecutors have dropped the felony investigation that was launched earlier after a TV personality Hamlet Ghushchyan claimed former oligarch Lfik Samo ordered his kidnapping and torture. Not enough evidence was found to charge specific individuals.
The investigators have placed an arrest warrant for the director of another construction company that was tasked with building one part of North-South highway. He is accused of embezzling 871mln. Another director was charged earlier. The investigation also revealed the money laundering methods.
Serj-linked SPAYKA import-export giant is still under an investigation by Uncle Samvel. 10bln tax evasion. 1bln recovered.
Last year it became apparent that the street traffic light camera business was submerged in corruption. Accusations were made against the management of two involved firms.
Today, the authorities confirmed the arrest of the founder of SECURITY DREAM camera company, and the accountant of Elips firm that provides services to SECURITY DREAM. Both firms receive state funds from the police.
Earlier, the director of SECURITY DREAM became a whistle-blower and testified that the founder was stealing 43mln out of 70mln fees that the police department gives to the company each month for the services.
More: see March 1 and 11, 2019 news.
High-tech sector turnover rose 20% in 2018 vs 2017. Number of firms rose 24%. Number of jobs rose 27%.
The government wants to donate housing (not just rent subsidy) to all remaining 1070 families who fled from Azerbaijan to Yerevan during 88-92 events, and do not have their own homes. In the first stage, 108 families will get houses. Since 2009 no funds were allocated for this purpose.
1519 families living outside of Yerevan aren't covered at this stage.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cpygba/anticorruption_news_aug132019_yerevan_garbage/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|