2019 February 27

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Ant-Corruption Feb/27/2019: $239 million so far
by ar_david_hh

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

Earlier we learned that Serj's brother Alexander Sargsyan returned (officially "donated") 9bln to the state. The accurate number was 9.6bln, and it was given directly to the Artsakh army.

NSS has also confirmed that the former IRS chief has returned 9.8bln worth property, in the form of the Golden Palace hotel.

In a related case, which NSS didn't clarify, 3bln was returned to the budget. The NSS chose not to disclose all the details because the perpetrator fully cooperated with the NSS, admitted the guilt, and returned the funds. (NSS has a policy of prioritizing funds recovery over felony prosecution)

NSS says 22bln in stolen funds have been recovered so far by them. They have uncovered 32bln in embezzlement and abuse of power since the May of 2018.

(These numbers are from NSS alone. Other agencies report separately.)


General prosecutor releases numbers. Corruption busts have gone up multiple times on 2018.

84.8bln in damages done to the state uncovered. 27.7bln of it recovered so far. 6.9bln assets are currently frozen. 241mln returned voluntarily.


Scandals around the Yerevan State University administration continue.

A professor says 30,000 books were either stolen or missing. A US-based professor, who donated 30,000 books to the University earlier so the students could use them, says that during his recent visit to Armenia he discovered that most of the books weren't available to students. They were either stolen, sold or neglected by the University administration.

The Univ professor says she plans to involve the Univ's Board of Trustees.

An SOC agent who was arrested by NSS for allegedly abusing his powers to help a competitor medical provider to win an auction, has not accepted a guilt. He insists that the actions were lawful and it was done to improve the competition in the dialysis equipment sales to hospitals. He says the company in question had been the only one to win contracts for a long time, and the standards for the auction were set up in a way that would only allow that company to win.

The court has rejected the defendant's petition to be released, citing his arrest as lawful.

We learned earlier that the Health Minister contacted the NSS to ask them intervene in agent's audits of dialysis transactions, citing fears that the supplies would be cut off and place patients' lives at risk, as well as disagreement about the monopoly claim.


Lernavan, Lori school director is charged with an embezzlement of 4mln state funds. You know exactly how that happened.


Parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan is in Russia. During a speech on front of Russian Parliament, Mirzoyan criticized some Russian lawmakers, who are a member of Russian-Armenian relations committees, for participating in anti-Armenian projects in Azerbaijan.


After Sanitek's inability to properly clean up the city, Yerevan mayor announced that the city will buy 24 vehicles and become a competitor for Sanitek. Russian Kamaz trucks were purchased. Yerevan municipality's opposition has criticized the move, saying other trucks with higher standards should have been purchased because of regulations. The municipality responded saying they have sent auction notification to 20 companies. Kamaz was chosen because it met the regulatory requirements, and it saved the city 175mln.

(Because Armenia is part of EAEU economic bloc, some vehicle engine standards will increase beginning mid-2019. Euro-5 standard will replace Euro-3.)


During an Azeri arts festival in Berlin dedicated to Khojali events, the gallery hosted a painting of a photo taken by an Armenian photographer Sargis Hacpanyan showing an Armenian soldier hugging an Azeri grandma on the April of 1993 in Qarvachar region, after the Azeris retreated, leaving behind the vulnerable civilians in villages.


Azeri court has convicted an Armenian civilian Karen Ghazaryan, who has never served in the army as shown by records, who has a recorded mental health issues and was a patient in a nearby hospital, to 20 years in prison, after he wandered away from the bordering village at night and crossed the Azeri border. The Azeri authorities added fabricated charges such as terrorism, to increase his sentence.


Pashinyan: On February 27th of 1988, hundreds of Armenians in Azerbaijan were killed and forced to leave. It was in response to peaceful Armenian protests in Nagorno Karabakh, by which they were defending their right for self determination. Today we remember the victims of Sumgayit massacres.

Pashinyan is in Iran. He said Armenia cares about the sanctions placed against Iran because of close ties. Armenia was one of the first countries who welcomed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Armenia is willing to play its part to help both sides of Iran-West conflict to find solutions.



Iran's Rouhani has praised the AM-IR relations, and thanked Pashinyan for his stance on the sanctions against Iran, saying that two countries should have unobstructed relations.

Rouhani reminded about the strong relations in tourism, culture, politics. He hopes to make trade relations as strong. Iran is helping to build a new hydro power plant in Meghri, Armenian (southern border with Iran), so both countries can increase gas-for-electricity exchange. They discussed that during the meeting with Pashinyan.

They discussed a possibility of trilateral relations when it comes to gas trade, and expressed willingness to export gas to Georgia through Armenia. Gas talks also included Iran-Armenia-Georgia-Russia cooperation possibility.

Iran has agreed to participate in Armenia's North-South state-wide highway project, to improve the roads, and to improve the truck traffic flow between two nations.

Iran is willing to improve the high-tech cooperation with Armenia.

Pashinyan and Rouhani have agreed to hold further Ministry-level meetings to discuss a bigger trade route, which connects the Persian Gulf to Black Sea through Armenia.

Pashinyan: has thanked Iran for being welcoming to Iranian-Armenian community. Said that Armenia is in process of ratifying the EAEU trade bloc cooperation agreement with Iran. This will increase the trade vectors between two countries. Pashinyan has welcomed Iran's willingness to deliver more gas, and wants to negotiate the price. This meeting is about establishing a bigger trade strategy for the whole region, said Pashinyan, noting that Armenia is willing to play as a gas transit country.

A memorandum was signed between Pashinyan and Rouhani, various Ministries, including FMs.


Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan met a Chinese company delegation, which plans to invest 49bln. They want to create storage facilities for various products to be stored during EAEU, EU, etc trade process. It'll employ 400 people.

The company also plans to create factories to produce aluminum products, furniture.


The court has rejected Manvel Grigoryan's bid to post a 20mln bail. He will remain in jail. He is charged with stealing 101mln worth property, avoiding 1.2bln in taxes, wasting 1.2bln in state resources, stealing a 37mln worth property.


President Sarkissian was earlier in France when he invited French THALES aurospace and defense Corp administration to visit Armenia. Today they visited and discussed investment possibilities. Sarkissian pitched some ideas citing the fact that the number of startups is high in Armenia, and it has numerous prestigious Western and Russian universities.

The company found Armenia's relations with Russia/Asia important and will try to do business with Armenia, and with Armenia's partners through Armenia.


Education Minister Arayik Harutyunyan says the government plans to use some of its saved funds to give a pay raise to teachers this year. Those who go though a re-training could see their salaries go up by as much as 50%.


Education Minister says he has created a committee to review how the March 1st 2008 events are presented in school books, because they found an inaccurate information in them. The committee is consisted of specialists from Universities, schools, as well as those who have brought the complaint.


Miki is on fire. 1 goal and 1 goal assists. Arsenal 3:1 Bournmouth


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/avjyxc/antcorruption_feb272019_239_million_so_far/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports