2019 March 22
Anti-Corruption Mar/22/2019: It's Happening v2.0 --- SIS investigating 1998 presidential elections --- High ranking Education Ministry official and college deans being investigated --- NSS chief conference --- Social aid employee busted --- Demographics --- more...
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Parliament's security committee called NSS chief Vanetsyan for a report.
Vanetsyan says when you hear a former official donate large sums or property to state, it isn't a donation but rather a forced return of the stolen funds to the state.
They are currently investigating an additional 234bln ($482 million) assets. NSS alone has recovered $68 million in the past 6 months.
Venetsyan says there will be more big busts in the future. The process is slow because the agency is trying to make sure everything is being done legally.
Venetsyan says Irates newspaper published a misinformation about him allegedly owning a fuel import business. The paper wrote, based on their anonymous sources, that Pashinyan allegedly asked Venetsyan to back away from the field to allow more competition. Venetsyan denies the report and calls it a clickbait to attract readers.
During his latest trip to Isfahan, Iran, Pashinyan said they won't tolerate politicians who act as foreign agents rather than citizens of Armenia. Venetsyan was asked to comment on this. He said NSS is actively trying to catch foreign spies. No specific names.
NSS is monitoring and banning imports of spying equipment that can be used to eavesdrop phone conversations. Some oligarchs used to import them, says Vanetsyan, but now only the law enforcement has the ability to legally import.
Parliamentary security committee chief, who happens to be a former official in Defense Ministry during Vazgen Sargsyan times, says he has a document regarding October 27/Meghri giveaway story, which he is ready to hand over to SIS if necessary.
Vanetsyan says they are currently examining former deputy Defense Minister Shirkhanyan's open letter to Robert Kocharyan (and to SIS and NSS), in which Kocharyan was accused of serious crimes.
Vanetsyan won't comment on whether Oct27 terrorist Nairi Hunanyan was an NSS agent at some point in past.
NSS employee salaries rose by 30% on 2019.
SIS says they have launched an investigation around the possibility of election fraud during the 1998 presidential elections. Earlier, former deputy Defense Minister wrote a letter to security agencies, in which he spoke about election fraud.
Fun fact: Defense attorney Hayk Alumyan is not only Robert Kocharyan's lawyer in the March 1st 2008 case, but also Kocharyan critic Vahan Shirkhanyan's attorney in an unrelated case. Shirkhanyan was charged by the previous authorities for allegedly being a member of a group of 18 people who created an armed group several years ago.
Lawyer Alumyan was asked if he'll continue to represent both clients now that they have a problem with one another. Alumyan refused to comment. Shirkhanyan says he doesn't see a problem with a conflict of interest.
The former Transport Minister Gagik Beglaryan and HHK MP Mher Sedrakyan were questioned on Nov/1/2018 around a loan fraud case.
The SIS has just announced that no felony charges will be pressed against them due to lack of enough evidence of crime committed by them.
Offshore king HHK MP Mihran Poghosyan's case was re-opened by the new government. Poghosyan fled. He is suspected of a possible fraud and money laundering.
Cops are looking for him and had invited him for an interview earlier. Poghosyan refused to appear, and suggested a video-chat instead of face to face.
A high ranking Education Ministry official, a chauffeur, and 3 educational organization chiefs are under a felony abuse of power and embezzlement investigation.
Prosecutors say the Ministry official told a college director to hire the former Education Minister's chauffeur and pay him 2.5mln in salaries between 2011-2016, while the chauffeur never went to work.
In a similar fashion, the chauffeur was registered as a construction worker in a gov-funded Armenian-Greek college by its director, between 2009-2016. He fraudulently received 4.5mln in salaries.
The rector of State Economics University hired the man as a chauffeur for 2016-17 and paid 2mln in salaries and 1230 liters of fuel, while the latter didn't work, say prosecutors.
Prosecutors have busted an employee of Syunik governor's office for abusing his powers and demanding several low income aid recipients to give parts of their aids to him, on 2010 and 2015. He won't face felony charges because the 2018 mass amnesty applies to him.
The Statistics Committee and UN human resources committee have released demographics data during a government session.
The number of residents remained the same (2.972 mln) on 2018, which is a positive trend from the previously observed declines. There was a net positive trend in the number of people existing and entering the country.
As in the rest of the world, births per women are on the decline, but this decline has slowed down on 2018. There was a positive decline in the deaths and divorces trend. A slight improvement in natural growth.
Boys/girls ratio at birth went from 115/100 on 2013, to 111/100 on 2018.
PM Pashinyan has formed a national council that will be tasked with finding ways to improve the demographics. He believes the economic improvements are the key.
Parliament will save 1.7mln/month after lowering the salaries for the cleaning crew members who only work 2 hours a day.
Some cleaners work 2 hours a day, others 8 hours a day, yet the monthly salaries were the same for both groups. The part-time crew was hired through a contract with a private company last year. The crew isn't happy with the salary slash. Parliament asked the contractor to help them find a second part-time job.
Canada's House of Commons has formed a commission to enter into a dialogue with Artsakh people. This comes after Common's leader visited Artsakh Republic earlier. Artsakh has thanked Commons for taking the cooperation to the next level.
ANCA is also against the Madrid Principles, after Artsakh FM came out against it.
The US-Armenian group says the principles don't mention the Azeri occupation of Shahumyan and Martuni regions of Artsakh, and Artsvashen region of Armenia.
The paper also expects too much concessions by Armenians in exchange for a possible autonomy of some sort, in the future, if Azerbaijan keeps its promise. This cannot be accepted because Azerbaijan has proved it cannot be trusted with following its part of the agreement, because they've been violating the 1993 ceasefire agreement repeatedly, says ANCA.
The father of the mentally ill citizen Karen Ghazaryan, who earlier crossed the Azeri border before being charged with bogus terrorism claims, has met the Azeri civilian Elvin Arif Ibragimov who similarly crossed the Armenian border few days ago. Ibragimov was satisfied by the care provided in the hospital. They spoke about Ibragimov's hometown and Ghazaryan's border crossing story. Ghazaryan's father wished him a speedy recovery.
Armenian theater in Tbilisi, Georgia will re-open after a lengthy shutdown. A new building is being constructed with the help of ruling party leader Bidznia Ivanishvili's foundation.
US State Department head Mike Pompeo has visited the Armenian sector of Jerusalem and lit a candle in church.
Who is Bogo, the man who was recently kicked out of a parking station for an illegal hotel/parking operation? The man as a lengthy criminal record.
Russian-Armenia figure skater Yevgenia Medvedeva has won the 3rd place in the world championship
Correction to yesterday's post. The defense ministry isn't trying to increase the minimum age requirement from 36 to 40 for the hired soldiers. They are increasing the maximum age qualification from 36 to 40, so more people can qualify and join.
Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b4abfr/anticorruption_mar222019_its_happening_v20_sis/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|