2019 August 16
Anti-Corruption & News from Armenia - Aug/16/2019 ::: Pobeda airlines not quitting Gyumri ::: Amulsar mining protests intensify ::: Multiple bribery cases busted ::: Former minister's aide's embezzlement ::: Birthrate decline is slowing down ::: other stories...
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.
Azerbaijani authorities report their soldier Hasan Oglu Babaev being wounded from an Armenian sniper fire on the Nakhijevan border. Armenian army denies shooting.
The US is cutting "foreign aid" by $4.2bln
Russian low-cost Pobeda airlines says they will continue to provide flights to the Gyumri airport. They solved the disagreement with the airport. The airport manager admitted there was a fuel problem earlier in 2019, and promised to fix the problem, says Pobeda memo.
Earlier, Pobeda complained about the fuel-filling process and said they would suspend the operations beginning winter.
Yerevan architects and the Civil Aviation are discussing a possible expansion of Zvartnots airport.
QP MP Hrachya Hakobyan says someone posted a fake document with a fake stamp and his fake signature, on a Russian website, claiming that he allegedly sent a letter to George Soros' foundation in which he allegedly praised the Russian opposition figure and political prisoner Alexey Navalni, and the latter's ongoing widespread protests against Putin's government.
A foreign businessman's company is under a felony investigation by IRS. He asked his Armenian colleague if the latter could find ways to shut down the case through a bribe. The buddy had an IRS employee friend. These two businessmen invite the IRS employee for a dinner during which they offer the employee a bribe to help close the case.
This IRS employee turns out to be twice the asshole. While knowing that he can't help the businessmen, he lies about having solid connections in higher-ups, and demands a 5mln bribe from the businessmen. The money was paid in Aug-2018.
One businessman is charged with a felony.
Today's lesson: don't do business in Armenia. You cannot even reliably bribe people anymore.
Amulsar mine operator Lydian says in 2018 they filed a felony complaint against - presumably environmental activists - for not allowing Lydian staff to enter the mine's territory. Lydian's memo says 3 courts have sided with them. [earlier a court found activists cannot stay on Lydian territory but have the right to stay on a public road which leads to the mine].
Local authorities and prosecutors sided with the protesters, but the Cassations court sided with Lydian in July-2019. In Aug-2019, the Investigative Committee launched a hooliganism investigation based on Lydian's complaint, says the Lydian memo.
Earlier, a year-long investigation found that Lydian's 16 environmental safety problems can be fixed. The company is negotiation over those. No final decision has been made yet to allow the resumption of the mining operations.
Some local residents, environmental activists and hardliner nationalists held a protest in the nearby Jermuk city. They want the government to block the mine's operations. They believe the examination is flawed and wasn't presented properly. They said they've used personal means to block roads leading to Lydian for 400 days.
QP MP Ruben Rubinyan cited Pashinyan's Sep-2018 speech in which the PM said the mine will be blocked only if the examination shows a danger to Sevan or Jermuk waters, otherwise "the large investor will be allowed to operate". MP says the examination revealed these two water resources will be safe, and that "we should use facts instead of emotions".
The law enforcement has arrested a high ranking forestry official working at Sevan National Park, for allegedly taking bribes in order to close the eye on illegal logging in May-2019.
Update: former HHK Education Minister Ashotyan's aide/driver has admitted to embezzling state funds between 2009-2017, by registering as a fake employee in multiple gov-funded institutes. He expressed regret and promised to recover the funds. He has been released from jail and is told not to leave the country.
Earlier we learned that the birth rate is still declining. The generation of 1990s kids are entering marriage age, and many of them, while they were children, either migrated during that period, or they were "never born" due to economic issues. For a long time the marriages were also on decline, until 1H19.
Healthcare Minister Torosyan says the decline of birthrate, however, has slowed down in 1H19 vs 1H18. He says by 1H20 they'll be able to better predict the future trend. It's possible the decline will end and the birthrate will increase.
For comparison, in 1H18 vs 1H17 births were down 4.9%, while in 1H19 vs 1H18 they were down only 0.9%.
Here is a longer term data for first halves: 16 vs 15 -1.2%, 17 vs 16 -7% , 18 vs 17 -4.9%, 19 vs 18 -0.9%. (This is the decline of birthrate. The births still outnumber deaths.)
Pan-armenian Olympics so far: Yerevan 110 medals, Gyumri 27, Ejmiatsin 20.
TOURISTS! Time to "harass" them with stupid questions again? You bet! Gyumri represents.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/crf5g8/anticorruption_news_from_armenia_aug162019_pobeda/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|