2019 March 12

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Mar/12/2019: Former regime's $30mln mansion --- Hrazdan mayor officially charged with embezzlement --- Ijevan clinic chief charged, returns the money --- More school directors caught --- a mayor resigns --- Cancer drug costs down 30% --- GEO-RUS on gas --- more below...
by ar_david_hh

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

Former defense minister Vigen Sargsyan wrote on his Facebook post alleging that the government is "stealing" or privatizing a property in Dilijan belonging to a Monte Melkonyan military college, and kicking the recruits out. State Property Management chief says Vigen is misleading the public.

Property Management chief says the property in question was built and occupied by the former regime's IRS chief Gagik Khachatryan (under criminal investigation). It is a massive 14.6bln ($30 million dollar) worth marble mansion and a recreational resort, which was built by the taxpayer money by the former officials, which is now subject of 3 criminal investigations for violations during the construction, which features its own hotel, 9 luxury cottages, expensive furniture, and a gym. The regime built the luxury resort for its IRS staff.

After a year long criticism and accusations of massive state resource mis-management, to do a PR move, the former officials decided to hand over the facility to the army as a charity, deciding that the IRS doesn't need it. The Monte Melkonyan military college moved in and used the facility for a year. The story subsided down for a while.

Now, various government agencies have to decide the building's final fate. The former regime, which mismanaged the resources and tried to cover it up as a charity, is attempting to present the story as if the current government is embezzling property from the military.

The building's expensive construction, lack of transparency, and its subsequent transfer to a college, has been criticized since 2017. Critics say too much state resources were wasted on it, and its luxury 5-star hotel with $500 bathroom mirrors aren't suited as a military object.

The military spokesman Artsrun Hovhanissyan says the facility will continue to operate, and the college recruits will not become "homeless", regardless of the legal outcome of the building.

The taxpayers were/are paying 120mln annually for the building's upkeep.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/156496 ----- https://factor.am/131881.html --- https://www.lragir.am/2019/03/12/424907/ ---- https://www.azatutyun.am/a/28237448.html

Hrazdan's former Mayor Aram Danielyan, who was earlier released from detention after returning hundreds of millions in stolen funds, has been charged with one felony count of embezzlement.

There are 8 other defendants who allegedly cooperated with him. They are told not to leave the country.


The prosecutors had earlier begun investigating the director of Ijevan Medical Center for fraud, after a citizen came forward and testified that the director took $3,000 bribe on 2015 to register him as an employee, but never kept his promise.

The director has just been charged with two felony counts of abuse of power and large scale fraud. He has returned the stolen money to the citizen.


Justice Minister Artak Zeynalyan has been questioned as a witness in the March 1st 2008 case.


Directors of Tashir's gov-funded Cultural Center and a preschool were under an investigation for stealing 3mln by registering non-existent employees to steal the salaries.

The suspects have recovered 2mln in stolen funds. They are facing 3 felony counts each.


Yerevan State University chief, who is accused of large scale bribery and fraud, has asked the High Ranking Official Ethic Committee to investigate the State Oversight Committee (SOC) chief for allegedly overstepping his boundaries and harming his agency reputation. The Committee has accepted the petition and will investigate.

The University chief has had bad relations with SOC after the latter discovered 800mln in fraud and waste by the University administration.


Manvel Grigoryan is back on the news.

Taekwondo federation members say that for years, Manvel and his family held the federation in fear and neglected the issues. People were afraid to speak up about the issues.

Manvel was chosen as the federation president 10 years ago. On 2014, his son took over. They never listened to problems and everyone had to avoid a conflict with them. No set of administrative protocols was created for the federation. No financial means were given to athletes to participate in many competitions, and athletes had to use personal finances and sometimes sell their medals, say the members.

New presidential elections will be held soon, after Manvel's son's term expired few months ago.


Qaradzor mayor and 4 municipality members have resigned after the residents complained that he was using the resources to enrich his family.


Media outlets Luys and LiveNews are smearing Pashinyan administration for allegedly trying to ban the "banning of homosexual propaganda", by citing an agreement which was signed by HHK on 2017, which doesn't even say what the media outlets claim it says.

On 2017, HHK initiated the EU-Armenia comprehensive cooperation agreement. Part of it was reforming the discrimination laws. It's about basic things such as not discriminating based on person's gender, race, etc. This is what the current administration is discussing with EU now, says FIP.


Pashinyan administration has rejected a proposal by BHK to amend the law to allow the employer to terminate the contract with a worker and fire them, in the event the worker doesn't meet the requirements on/for a single day. Currently, the employer has to show the worker's incompetence for a duration of a period. It'll remain to be the case.


Health Ministry has re-negotiated cancer drug prices with a Swiss company. Prices for some commonly used drugs will be reduced by 10%-33%.


The United States is helping to renovate 12 schools in Syunik Province. Similar projects will be done in Lori.


Georgia and Russia have finished negotiating the gas the transfer to Armenia through Georgia. The latter will receive more money from Russia for the transfer. Russia will also lower the gas price for Georgia.


Pashinyan and Aliyev are preparing to meet. Azerbaijan has conducted military exercises in Azerbaijan and Nakhijevan, involving Polonez missile units.

Armenian side has tested its SCUD missile units for preparedness.

Russian military units are conducting their own exercises in Armenia and southern Russia.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/156452 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/156429 ---- https://razm.info/132864

Pashinyan's team held talks with Artsakh colleagues for 7 hours.

PM insisted on giving Artsakh the right to hold direct talks with Azerbaijan. Aliyev represents Azeri refugees from Artsakh, yet no one legally represents Artsakh population during these talks, because Artsakh population doesn't participate in Armenia's elections, thus Pashinyan isn't their elected representative.

Pashinyan wants the Madrid principles to be clarified during the future meetings with OSCE and Azerbaijan, because at its existing form, the way Azerbaijan interprets them, it is unacceptable for Armenians. These principles have been the basis of negotiations for the past 10 years, and given no results.

PM says both sides should prepare each others' peoples for peace. Armenian side should help to prepare Azeri public for peace, and vice versa. This is why Pashinyan said during one of his past speeches that any Artsakh resolution should be acceptable for Azeri public as well. Unfortunately, Aliyev hasn't made similar remarks yet. Pashinyan says he'll continue to try a dialogue with the Azeri public.


Artsakh Republic economy grew 12% on 2018.


11th century cross-stones have been discovered in Drmbon, Martini, Artsakh Republic.


Second armed incident at the Azeri-Iran border in two days. Armed groups, presumed to be drug and weapon smugglers, tried to enter the Talysh region of Azerbaijan from the Iranian side. 1 Azeri and 1 infiltrators are dead, 1 Azeri wounded.


Azeri-Russian billionaire Gad Nisanov (worth $3.3bln) is under an investigation by Kremlin. He was earlier told to make investments in Moscow. He refused, and said he plans to take his money outside of Russia. The Russian authorities begun raiding his businesses, which is mostly run by Azeri immigrants.

He could become a subject of money laundering and human trafficking investigations. He is suspected of illegally bringing people to Russia, and helping foreign nationals to launder money and avoid taxes through crypto-currency farms.

Another Azeri billionaire (high ranking official in Azerbaijan) was recently caught with narcotic trafficking through his family night club in Moscow.


Miki, who current has an injury again in case you doubted, has been voted as the best Arsenal player for February.


Ukrainese SkyUp airlines will soon conduct direct flights between Yerevan-Kiev.


Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b0chpc/anticorruption_mar122019_former_regimes_30mln/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports