2019 March 5

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Mar/5/2019: military commander charged -- gov-funded organization chiefs caught -- 470mln/1bln recovered from mining companies -- IRS recovered 8.8bln in 7mo -- monopolies decline -- voter list size -- military dodgers get another chance -- university students & job training -- SOROS
by ar_david_hh

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

Felony charges are pressed against a commander of a military unit for abuse of power.

He ordered the subordinates to give construction materials, belonging to the military, to private entities. He gave some of it to his brother, say the military prosecutors.


Hrazdan's Hayantar gov-funded forest protection agency's director has been arrested. He is facing multiple counts of felony embezzlement and bribery.

He is accused of colluding with others to steal 27mln from the state, and demanding and taking a bribe from a business in order not to do an inspection.


Prosecutors have discovered that for years, mining companies failed to meet their contract requirements to pay certain fees. Some of them were required to invest hundreds of millions in local communities as part of their deal, but failed to do so.

Prosecutors have so far recovered 470mln out of 1bln in unpaid fees.


The prosecutors have uncovered a 1.7mln embezzlement committed by a business CEO who signed a contract with a government-run elderly house to provide food. The CEO has voluntarily returned the stolen funds. No felony charges have been filed.


The police has uncovered a 3.6mln corruption scheme by Odzun's gov-funded community services organization, who allegedly hired non-existent employees to steal their salaries. The prosecutors have pressed felony charges.


In the past 7 months, the IRS (alone) has recovered and returned 8.8bln to the state in unpaid fees, out of which 1.8bln was corruption busts.


Certain monopolies in various fields continue to lose their market share to the competition.

The largest sugar seller went from having 95% to 78% of the market share, largest banana from 57% to 30%, largest fuel from 43% to 29%, largest diesel from 51% to 29%.


Russian-Armenian businessman Ruben Vardanyan says his Troika Dialogue bank met all the transparency regulations while under his management until 2012. He denies involvement in money laundering done by some of the clients.


QP had earlier proposed limiting or outright banning gambling ads, similar to how tobacco is treated, to reduce the future generation's bad habits. Many website owners complained because a significant portion of their income comes from bookmaker and casino ads.

They have agreed that for now, they will limit the gambling ads to no more than 20% of the ads on the website (or 20% of the screen?).


The Parliament has voted to extend the law that allows >27 year old men who have never served in the army, to pay a penalty for each missed draft, and remove their names from the wanted list. This affects 10,940 men.


QP MP has complained to the Election Commission Chief that the voter list, which contains 2.59mln people (population 2.97mln), is inflated and contains people who will never vote again.

The Chief says it's because of the way the voter lists are generated. Everyone who is still counted as an Armenian citizen and has a registered residency in Armenia, are automatically entered to the voter list. This includes people who left the country without removing themselves from the residency lists.

Chief says to change the way the voter registration lists are generated, there must be a legislative change to the law.

Chief says Armenia is one of the few countries which publishes the data of people who voted, for transparency. They routinely verify that there are no diseased peoples' names on the list.


Education Ministry wants to expand the idea if dual-education system for higher education field so the students can become "interns" and receive skills dictated by the job market. The student will be able to study in the university and at a business location simultaneously.


Kocharyan has filed the 6th lawsuit claiming defamation, this time against Aram Manukyan, vice president of Armenian National Congress party. Manukyan is "happy about it".

Kocharyan has pending lawsuits against Pashinyan, several other politicians, and the businesswoman Silva Hambardzumyan who earlier said that she transferred millions of dollars in "protection" fees to Kocharyan and others, through Kocharyan's aide.



Yerevan State University accused Restart student activists of taking $20,000 donations from Soros, which they did. Turns out the university itself took $822,000 from Soros.

Now, Rob Kocharyan's lawyer Hayk Alumyan says they have received a grant from Soros, but for a case unrelated to Rob. Alumyan also received another grant to attend a lawyers' conference on 2017. Kocharyan had earlier accused Pashinyan administration of being Soros puppets.

Soros has also funded former HHK Parliament speaker Babloyan and 3 other former HHK MPs.

Several universities combined have received $7.7mln from the foundation.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/266149/ ---- http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/266132/ ----- http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/266133/

Former March 1st investigator Vahagn Harutyunyan, who is accused of tampering evidence to cover up a crime, and abuse of power, is still on the run. The prosecutors can't find him for the 5th month.


The Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan proves better than anyone else that the current Azeri regime is simply clueless.

"Mammadyarov: What has an ordinary Armenian gained from the Karabakh conflict? Has his life improved?"


A) freedom B) Yes, thanks for concern.


Revenues from the asset management of Azerbaijan State Oil Fund have dropped 6 times since 2017. From 1.2bln to 0.2bln Manat.


Pashinyan's Brussels, Belgium trip continues. He met Donald Tusk and Frederika Mogherini. The latter vowed to help Armenia with its push towards democratization. Pashinyan asked EU if they can help improve the roads and infrastructure in Armenia, as well as to relax the visa regime. EU representative said they'll help Armenia with multiple projects simultaneously.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the technical part to ease the visa regime is done. The next step is direct talks with nations. The EU will do its part to accelerate the process, said Junker.

Pashinyan also noted that Artsakh population's free will and self-determination should be respected as part of the conflict's resolution.


https://armenpress.am/arm/news/966521.html ---- https://news.am/arm/news/499757.html

(wow Nikol, great moves. Keep it up. Proud of your Twitter translator.)

Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko has blamed Russia for pushing Belarus towards the West. He is unhappy with the restrictions and the unfriendly economic situation between Russia and Belarus. He doesn't understand the "hysteria" by Russia when Belarus takes steps to strengthen ties with the West.


Wrestler Slavik Galstyan wins silver medal in the European youth championship.


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/axplr2/anticorruption_mar52019_military_commander/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports