2019 August 8

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News from Armenia - 8/8/2019 ::: Sarsang Reservoir in Artsakh ::: Soldier salaries ::: March 1st :: Largest taxpayers ::: Artsakh call/SMS prices ::: 120MW solar panels ::: Pickpocketing laws ::: Mayor busted with embezzlement ::: Sevan rises
by ar_david_hh

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.

Few months ago a group students tried to dump Roboserj activist and former police chief's aide Narek Malyan into a garbage bin on the street. They were stopped by the police. Their case is now in the court. 6 are facing hooliganism charges.


Update: General Prosecutor's office condemned the document leak to "BBC Russia" which revealed that the investigators are internally suspecting general Samvel Karapetyan of being directly responsible for organizing the group that shot the protesters in March 1st 2008. The office urged the public to get such information from official sources when they are ready to be published in order to "avoid leaker's one-sided manipulations". SIS has a felony case investigating the leak.

Former member of March 1st evidence-gathering team says the leak was not a "secret". There have been numerous witness reports that the suspected general had gathered 60 people and asked which one of them would be willing to shoot at the crowd if such order were to be issued. 20 members agreed and were separated, per witness reports according to Seda Safaryan. She said this unit was given weapons not registered under their name in order to help sabotage future evidence gathering. (Investigators earlier found evidence that bullet shells were swapped by the former chief March 1st investigator and accomplices. He is on the run.)





Update: former oligarch MP Shishi Melo's brother can be arrested, ruled the court. He is charged with obstruction of justice and assaulting policemen. After the explosion he drove an evidence-filled car from the crime scene despite being told to stay. 3 others are arrested in connection with the detonation. The target survived.


Mandatory conscript soldiers will also receive a small "salary" hike. Pashinyan said their payments have been left the same for too long, despite personal hygiene product costs going up by a third in the past several years. Some soldiers find it necessary to purchase extra items not provided by the army during their service.


The gov issued 3.2mln grant to create and install a statue of Karen Demirchayan on front of the concert building Hamalir, which is named after him. Demirchayn was a prominent Soviet-independence-era politician who was killed during the October 27 terror attack. There have been failed attempts in past to install his statue on Mashtots square.

Gov made a decision to amend the law that provides fertility treatment for couples who are struggling with having a child. The changes are supposed to ease the process of obtaining free services.



Bread prices rose 7.7% in Russia in 1H19 vs 1H18. Russian farmers had smaller wheat yields this year. Armenia imports large quantities of wheat from Russia.


EAEU trade bloc stats for 1H19 vs 1H18. Trade turnover down 4.8%, industrial production up 2.6%. Retail trade up 2.1%. Agriculture up 1.2%.

Biggest growth in industrial production was in Kyrgyz 19.7%, Armenia 6.9%. Overall industrial production was $584bln. 88% came from Russia, 6.5% from Kazakh, 4.5% from Belarus, 0.3% from Armenia.

More inside...


Former PM and current EAEU president Tigran Sargsyan did the opening ceremony of 2019 billiard world championship. He made a foul by dropping the cue ball in the hole right from the first shot. 👏


In 1H19 tourism grew 13% and tourists spent $120 million more than in 1H18. Tourism from Germany grew by 59%, China by 53%, Holland by 35%, Swiss by 30%, UAE by 30%, Greece by 29%, Italy by 24%, UK by 23% (God bless the queen and make her enemies fall), Japan by 19%, US by 15%, France by 13%.


The top 1000 taxpaying firms paid 14% more taxes in 1H19 vs 1H18. The top 10% paid 26% of all taxes paid by the top 1000.

Zangezur mining 29.5bln, Grand Tobacco 28.2bln, GazProm-Armenia 22.7bln. These top 3 taxpayers paid 16% of taxes.

Followed by Massis tobacco 9.4bln, GeoProMining 9.1bln, electric grids 7.7bln, Flesh fuel 7.6bln, Akvilon Trade 6.5bln, Phillip Morris Armenia 5.1bln, Armenia international airports 2.2bln (up 18 positions from 1H18).


The Chairman of Public Services Regulatory Commission says they have negotiated with Karabakh Telecom and they agreed that the cell phone roaming prices have been too high, so they agreed to lower it by 25-75% beginning 2020. Some prices dropped this August. The monopoly company's artificially high prices are the reason why it's only now switching to 3G, while Armenia has had 4G for years. Regulator hopes the playing field will get equal from now on.



Karabakh Telecom, and soldiers serving in Artsakh


Karabakh Telecom has long been associated with Robert Kocharyan, alleging that he benefits from the excessive fees collected by the monopoly. What is behind the rumors? An armchair research reveals that Karabakh Telecom is owned by 3 entities with each having a third of the share.

Two of them are employed by a company belonging to Russian "Sistema" telecom giant. The third shareholder's company's 80% was bought by a company that is also part of Sistema. Robert Kocharyan is a member of Board of Directors of Sistema, and owns some shares. Sistema's leadership recently stood by him, extended his board membership, and claimed Rob is arrested under political motives. More inside...





Former Artsakh PM Araik Harutyunyan says the works have begun to initiate the $100 million foreign-funded project to build a water canal and several hydro power plants on Sarsang Reservoir in north-east of Artsakh. It'll provide irrigation to 10,000 hectares of land in Martakert, Martuni and Akna regions. Last year, Artsakh authorities offered Azerbaijan to end the threats of shooting down civilian jets over Artsakh in exchange for Artsakh providing irrigation water for bordering Azeri villages. The offer was not accepted.



Works have begun to install solar farms totaling 120MW across Armenia. A loan was taken from a European development bank, said 1st Deputy PM Tigan Avinyan.


Justice Ministry wants to amend the pickpocketing laws to allow the prosecutors to press felony charges against the suspect even if the victim doesn't show up in court and cooperate. Many victims don't want to deal with the lawsuit and courts. This contributes to only 10% pickpocketers being charged with felony. Overall 45% of the cases are solved, which is high, according to the police. The reported instances of pickpocketing rose 70% in 1H19.

Police wants to see the penalties increased as well. If the stolen property is below 5k it's considered a petty theft. Anything below 500k is still considered a mild case and cannot lead to more than 2 years in jail. Police wants to change that. 95% of pickpocketing happens in Yerevan.



Police says they busted the former mayor of Mrgashen, Kotayk with registering fake employees and embezzling 12.6mln in salaries. Felony charges are pressed.


Investigative Committee chief says few days ago they received the finalized summary of the examination of Amulsar mine's environmental impact and sent it to the investigators to make a translation. The 341 page document could be sent to PM's office as early as next week.

Last year the SIS begun investigating former Nature Ministry agents for allegedly purposely covering up the scale of the environmental impact that Amulsar mining had on the surrounding nature. The mining company Lydian, a large foreign investor, has been unable to operate since last year.



Detailed report of what the investigators have been doing all this time https://hetq.am/hy/article/106284

Update: former Kyrgyz president's house was stormed to arrest him under the suspicion of corruption. His supporters gathered near the house to prevent the storm. 1 officer died and 97 were injured. Former president Atambaev turned himself in and admitted that he shot towards the storming officers but "tried not to aim at them".





1H19 water drainage from lake Sevan was 45mln m2 less (a third less) than in 1H18. 82mln m2 was drained from the allowed 170mln m2. Pashinyan said the water levels are 4cm higher than last year.



Education Ministry has a program that allows Georgian kids 10-18 of age to visit Armenia for summer camps. 50 of them participated in TUMO's summer camp. Georgian colleagues are in the process of creating a similar program for Armenian kids.


Yerevan city built the first street bike lane. The sidewalk next to it was also renovated with colorful stone plates by the nearby business.


https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167339 At least 10% of Armenians are cucks.

2% believe it's OK if the wife cheats. 10% believe it's OK if the husband cheats. 1602 participated in the survey.


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cnre5w/anticorruption_news_from_armenia_882019_sarsang/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports