2019 June 10
Anti-Corruption & News - Jun/10/2019: High ranking IRS official caught w/bribery... SOC audits medical university foundation; 222mln... Abovyan elections... Expenditure stats by various institutes... Institutional Anti-Corruption plan of actions... Tariffs w/Iran... Some stats... other news
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.
Update: BHK has succeeded in holding on to their stronghold Abovyan city during yesterday's mayoral elections. The incumbent mayor received 395 more votes than the QP challenger. 8,453 and 8,058 votes respectively. The QP candidate has conceded and thanked the public.
BHK candidates (immediate and non-immediate) have held the mayor's position since 2008. In 2015, the current mayor Vahagn Grigoryan was elected as the mayor, endorsed by BHK and HHK. At the time he received 11,227 votes, which is 2,774 more than during yesterday's elections.
PM Pashinyan congratulated the winners. Said the democracy won in Abovyan, and that's the most important part. He said the government didn't use illegal measures and allowed an opposition to win, which they always wanted to see during HHK years when the latter had a "monopoly".
He said a similar loss for QP happened right after the revolution last year, when their candidate lost to a local candidate in Kapan, Syunik mayoral elections, before QP turned around and won 70% of the Syunik votes in the general elections later that year. Says the local losses isn't because of his rating going down, when asked by a journalist.
The police has briefly detained and questioned the leader of the black-dressed Roboserj activist group "Adekvad" for inadequate comments he made earlier, which were viewed as a physical threats towards PM Pashinyan . The activist said "Էս ամեն ինչ արդյունքում շուտով կարողա մի օր էլ մենք կոչ անենք, որ Նիկոլ Փաշինյանի գլուխը պետք ա քարով ցխեն" (one day all of this may lead to us calling for someone to break Pashinyan's head with a rock).
He was reflecting the words of an anti-Kocharyan activist who earlier said similar words about Artsakh president Bako Sahakyan, before receiving condemnation and being questioned by the police.
The State Oversight Committee has finished examining the 2015-2018 finances of M. Heratsi Medical University Foundation.
The report says they found 222mln worth property purchased illegally. There is evidence that it was used by people not affiliated with the university, for personal gain. High ranking members were routinely paid several times above their salaries, says SOC. Evidence is sent to the prosecutors for a further action.
The university administration denied wrongdoing, saying they have fully cooperated with the SOC agents.
The NSS and the police have busted a high ranking IRS employee who was tasked with collecting taxes from small businesses and payers, for allegedly taking bribes from unregistered businesses between 2013-2019, with the intention of closing the eye on the fact that they were unregistered and avoiding taxes.
The day before the Abovyan elections, a QP candidate's campaign worker's house and the car were set on fire by unknown people. One family member was injured.
The Investigative Committee chief says they have questioned 20 people. They are doing forensic examination of the fire. There are no suspects at the moment.
They have ruled out the possibility of NSS and SIS chief's phone calls being recorded by NSS agents. One of the unconfirmed theories is that it could have been published from the territory of a neighboring country. Says there are 6 theories as to how it was wiretapped. No specific suspects at the moment.
The Investigative Committee (not SIS) published its 2018 stats on anti-corruption fight. 1,233 felony corruption cases investigated, which is up by 691 from the year earlier. 398 were public officials.
SIS chief says applications to launch an investigation rose by 80% since the revolution. Court hearings that challenge their decisions have also rose significantly. The employees are under a physical pressure due to too much work.
SIS spent almost all of the 635mln dedicated to them by the budget, in 2018.
Justice Ministry has published the plan of actions for the anti-corruption initiativ for 2019-2023. It should make institutional changes to prevent and catch corruption. It's published on the website so the public can submit their input.
Iran has ratified the resolution to establish a free economic cooperation with EAEU economic bloc states. Armenia had earlier ratified it in Parliament.
The move will lower tariffs on many products sold between Armenia and Iran. For example, beef tariffs to be reduced from 26% to 10%. Mineral waters and non alcohol drinks from 55 to 14. Various sweets from 55 to 20. Medicine from 25 to 12. Some clothing from 55 to 38. e.t.c.
Exports to EAEU states rose by 21% last year. 2x increase in exports since Armenia became a member state 4 years ago, says Minister of Economics.
Some business forum happened during which Pashinyan said something to some Italian businesses about some investments conditions and how there is no forced takeaway of a business after the 2018 revolution.
The Minister of Economics Tigran Khachatryan says there has been a progress with an Italian company which agreed few months ago to build a ceramics production factory in Armenia, to export the products to EU and USA.
The firm has already imported the machinery, sent the Armenian workers to Italy for a job training, will produce ceramics within 3 months.
HAYASA Armenian motorcycle brand assembles ~ 150 units per year. Warranty 2 years or 4,000KM. They hope to turn it from a garage job to factory production. Parts are imported athen assembled. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbrDli_PtC0
Real estate sales rose by 21% in April of 2019 vs 2018. Total of 4,310 sales, out of which 1,472 were in apartment complexes. http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/269726
2018 stats: PM's office spent 3.7bln out of the 4.4bln dedicated to it (86%).
45mln was saved by not purchasing service cars. 643mln was saved through other means.
Parliament spent 91% of the 4.9bln dedicated to them. 2.9bln went on salaries.
2018 vs 2017 the Parliament spent 75mln less. Staff was cut from 810 to 732.
33mln of the savings came from energy savings from better weather and energy-saving measures. Money spent on trips went down by 7%. Some administrative expenses up by 55%.
Theglobaleconony's 2015 research shows Armenia is the 34th state when it comes to the level of shadowy economy. 36% of the economy is hidden.
Georgia was at the 3rd place with 54% of the economy. Azerbaijan 14th with 43%. Zimbabwe number one with 67%.
New ambassadors in Croatia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Kyrgyzistan.
Here goes your apricot https://youtu.be/kT1kHGFsrjM?t=4
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bz26qs/anticorruption_news_jun102019_high_ranking_irs/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|