2019 February 25

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Feb/25/2019: official arrested, IRS, antibiotics in meat to be banned, lots of news, twice as much fake news.
by ar_david_hh

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

Hrazdan municipality's former tax department chief has been detained and charged with felony embezzlement of 138mln.

Financial audits of the past 4 years have revealed a systematic abuse of funds from land and property taxes.


The IRS has busted a Khaldi Co food and service chain with allegedly under-declaring the number of workers (e.x., preparing food without having registered cooks), the hours they work, the amount of revenue they make, with the intention of hiding the true size of revenue to pay less taxes.

The company went to social media and tried to present the IRS enforcement as an attempt to harm their business, before being called out by IRS for misleading the public.

IRS wants the company to make their financial info public, so the public can verify.


Justice Minister says Kocharyan's lawyer spread a lie during a conference, during which he states that Pashinyan administration is allegedly attempting to purposely lose the 'Pashinyan Citizen vs Armenian Government' lawsuit in ECHR.

Pashinyan sued the government years ago for allegedly having his Constitutional rights violated. The case was submitted to ECHR during the previous administration, and the talking points by the Armenian government were presented by the previous administration's agent last year, says the Justice Minister.

The ECHR has already found that Kocharyan regime had violated multiple other people's rights, some of whom were tortured by the police after the March 1st murders.


The government has proposed regulating antibiotics that are mixed in cattle food, because excessive use can pose health dangers for consumers and can weaken antibiotics' potency when it's used on humans for legitimate reasons.

Ministry says they made antibiotics obtainable only through prescriptions last year, because people would take them without knowing whether they had a virus or a bacterial infection.


Last year Pashinyan encouraged the banks to annual the "unplayable" debts to help ease off the burden on the poor. The banks had responded by "pardoning" 19,000 citizens and their debt worth 9bln. Bank representatives encourage the public to use the loaning system more responsibly in future.


The number of Armenians who sought asylum in EU has dropped 3x on 2018 vs 2017.

2018 asylum seekers by country: Georgia 8275, Azerbaijan 2580, Armenia 2190.


Details and images about the proposed new metro station in Yerevan.

Metro is 40 years old. It is the cleanest and fastest transport. The last station was opened on 1996 in Charbakh. The new proposed station is a business project that will involve private investors, which means the state won't have to borrow all the funds. The city plans to let the investors build a shopping mall and new apartments near the new station as one way to generate a revenue to compensate the building cost.

Ajapnyak is where the new station will be built. The train will cross the gorge (possibly through a new bridge) and stop near a proposed mall, which will have a high foot traffic. There are some nearby residential buildings which are close to being obsolete, and this project can solve that problem too with the building of the new apartments.

Some investors have agreed with the proposal.


Men who are 27 and haven't served in the military have the right to pay a penalty to the Defense Ministry to have their names removed from the wanted list. LHK has proposed extending the law, which was set to expire this year, and has received a favorable response from the government.

Around 10,000 men have so far paid 11bln to have their records cleared. Over 3,225 men between the ages of 27-35 are currently wanted by the police (total 10,000). Anyone above 35 gets their names automatically removed from the wanted list because 35 is when the draft ends.


Film producer Hovhannes Galstyan has agreed to end the hunger strike after Education Minister promised to begin new negotiations around the infamous movie funding story which begun on 2017.


Parliamentary committee of public affairs has voted 5-4 to reject a BHK proposed plan to provide workers a new ability to form independent worker unions.

The reason for rejection is that the current law already provides that ability, and the new one would complicate things for the existing unions.


Today marks the 31st anniversary of government-enabled massacres of Armenians living in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan.


Burglars stole items, cloths and a Winchester shotgun from Manvel's son's house. He is the former Ejmiatsin mayor.


January month's economic numbers compared to January/2018.

Construction up 22%. Energy production down 26%. Service industry up 16%. Trade turnover up 19%. External trade down 7.6%. Industry down 0.4%. Salaries up 4.1%, consumer price index up 0.6%.

Average private sector salary is 185k (up 1.8%). Average salary for government worker 149k (up 6.5%).


Trade with Iran rose by ~37% on 2018 vs 2017.

http://www.irna.ir/en/News/83222470 --- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/155447

Soghakat village's solar farms will expand by private investors. Capacity to increase from 3MW to 13MW. Hundreds of temporary and dozens of permanent jobs to be created.


City of Smiles charity organization ran by first lady Anna Hakobyan has published the transparency report of donors.

Hayastan Himnadram has denied the report by analitik.am that the organization itself donated 30mln to the charity. The funds were donated by the patent organization based in US, which has the right to donate to various charity initiatives.

The biggest donor was Zangezur copper factory. Notable donors were former oligarch Lfik Samo, and Dodi Gago's family. Some public-funded organizations have used alternative income sources (from non-gov) to donate 100k and 400k sums.

The organization is tasked with providing cancer and other types of care for children.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/155453 ---- https://analitik.am/news/view/461392

Your daily Fake News alert:

Health Minister denies the social media rumors that the government plans to completely ban cigarette smoking and to allow weed.


Kocharyan allied Politik.am has been caught with another misinformation piece, this time about the first lady Anna Hakobyan.

Hakobyan flew to Switzerland with PM Pashinyan who was attending the Davos meeting. Politik incorrectly labeled the trip as a "leisure, which costed the taxpayers $16,000".

FIP research shows: no extra ticket fare was spent by Hakobyan because she flew in the same plane as PM. Because she wasn't going to participate in Davos, her name wasn't listed in the list of attendees, which later caused a confusion among the media (partially due to a poor communication). Because she wasn't a Davos participant, the government didn't spend funds for the things that they usually spend on participants.

Moreover, she stayed in the same hotel with the PM and didn't pay for an extra room. A room for two people in that hotel happens to cost as much as a room for 1 person, which further proves that Politik manipulated the facts.


FIP: Russian REN-TV has published a fake news video about Kocharyan, to portray him as a political prisoner.

The media outlet incorrectly stated that Rob was arrested immediately after declaring his return to politics, to create the illusion that his return was the reason for his charges.

The video incorrectly states that the official reason for his arrest is an "illegal declaration of emergency", it then shows angry mob videos to justify the emergency declaration. In reality, Rob is accused of colluding with others to overthrow the Constitutional order (including by illegally using the military).

The video incorrectly states that international monitors found the election process democratic. In reality, OSCE concluded that democratic norms weren't respected, which has shed a doubt on the whole process, which resulted in big problems. (Source: https://www.osce.org/hy/odihr/elections/armenia/32115)

Video doesn't mention about the 10 people who were killed, how and why they were killed. It also fails to clarify that the weapons that were allegedly found among peaceful protesters in the morning of March 1st was a falsification by the police forces.

REN-TV incorrectly states that Pashinyan told NSS leader to "finish the Rob's case", and makes it appear as the arrest was an order by Pashinyan.

During the misleading video, Rob's layers complain that the case contains materials worth 76 books, for which they were only given 50 days to examine. The accepted practice is that lawyers spend 1 day to examine 1 book. Because Rob is suspiciously rich and could afford to hire multiple lawyers, the 50 days are more than enough to get to know the charges, says FIP (without the Rob is suspiciously rich part).

https://fip.am/6115 ---- OCSE report https://www.osce.org/hy/odihr/elections/armenia/32115

REN's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfilo53NGKY

Viral hoax: If you saw a photo of a barefoot kid on a snow on Facebook with a plea to find her, do know the photo wasn't taken in Armenia.



Another viral fake news was that allegedly people were distributing narcotic-filled candy to kids on the streets near schools. The police wasn't able to find any such case.


Some people are tasked with finding and exposing fake news on social media


Back to real news

Miki is back in the game. He scored a goal and gave a pass that resulted in a goal. During the game, Armenian-British company BetConstruct, an Arsenal partner, ran an ad featuring the Armenian flag across the ad banners.

Video: http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/265810/

Video of goals: https://www.lragir.am/2019/02/24/420396/

French actor Samy Naceri, known in Armenia for his role in the movie series "Taxi", has visited Yerevan with his brother to attend a mixed martial arts fight. He was a friend with Charles Aznavour and decided to sing during the press conference



Gagik Tsarukyan almost broke Naceri's back



Two Armenian fighters won European titles


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/auqs15/anticorruption_feb252019_official_arrested_irs/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports














2019 Daily Armenia Reports