2019 March 6
Anti-Corruption Mar/6/2019: New corruption story involving Manvel Girgoryan \\\ busting several fake news \\\ First Lady responds to Roboserj media with an article \\\ people have begun demanding purchase receipt to help fight tax dodging \\\ corruption invstg up 4x \\\ 14 professors busted
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
A new corruption and negligence story involving Manvel Grigoryan's Yerkrapah organization and the former Yerevan administration.
The city administration leased a building to Manvel's Yerkrapah organization free of charge until 2017, so they could use it for their pro-army activities. Yerkrapah then illegally leased part of the building to a massage parlor and charged them 250k/mo since 2014. The parlor owner says she didn't know the building was leased to her illegally. (She has suffered 11.5mln in damages)
When Manvel got arrested, Yerkrapah called and told her to leave the building. She became suspicious and contacted the Yerevan municipality, which is when she learned that the building was not only leased to her illegally, but Yerkrapah didn't have the right to possess it since 2017. She contacted the NSS.
Criminal investigation is launched. Two Yerkrapah officials were questioned.
Pashinyan says more people have begun demanding purchase receipts from shops, after months-long campaign by the administration to convince the public to help fight against tax dodging. (it is harder to hide income when the business prints the receipt)
Pashinyan says on January-February of this year, 12.5mln more receipts worth 35bln Drams have been printed, compared to the same months of 2017.
Pashinyan criticized an MP who criticized him for potentially firing 10,000 government employees (unconfirmed number) as part of the upcoming government structure reforms.
Pashinyan says the optimizations will take place gradually. An employee who doesn't benefit and has a redundant work, will be laid off. Everyone will be given a chance to show their work is needed. For 20 years, the previous administrations swelled the system with friends and relatives, complained Pashinyan.
Those who get laid off will continue to receive salary and other benefits for several months.
General prosecutor's office has quadrupled the number of corruption investigations on 2018 vs 2017. Four times as many people were charged.
There was a 33% drop in cases in which the prosecutors wanted the suspect be arrested during the investigation.
Two professors of Dilijan State College are facing felony charges, and 12 others are implicated in a case involving falsification of student records.
Two of them are accused of falsifying two peoples' names and signatures to add them to the list of students on 2017. They were never students.
12 other professors are accused of giving grades to 8 students, who in reality didn't attend the classes. These professors qualified for the general amnesty of 2018 and won't face felony charges.
Parliament voted 112-2 to approve the BHK proposal to allow university students to pay the tuition on monthly basis.
Earlier, the MPs voted 114-0 unanimously to allow 27yo men to pay a penalty for not serving in army, and have their criminal records cleared.
EU has agreed to help fund 13 infrastructure/road projects in Armenia. For this, Armenia also has to invest in the projects. Pashinyan says they have to decide if and how much is worth to increase the debt-to-GDP ratio to take loans to help co-fund the EU projects.
World tech Congress WCIT 2019 will take place in Armenia this year. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Acer representatives, possibly Google, and 2000 other techies will be present.
Central Bank representative has condemned Roboserj outlet 168.am for deliberately manipulating information for a narrative. The outlet alarmed that the Bank's reserves are draining very quickly, 11% per month.
The bank says it is normal for this season because companies use their funds to make large purchases and payments. Historical data shows that the reserves always reduce at the beginning of the year, then regain throughout the year.
Roboserj outlet Yerevan Today spread fake news about Levon Ter-Petrosyan's party member receiving a job at the Pashinyan government with the help of Pashinyan's spokesman.
Another Roboserj owned outlet analitik.am spread misinformation about Zvartnots airport shutting down and halting all flights during Pashinyan's return from Iran. Airport's arrival time-tables indicate no such practice.
First Lady Anna Hakobyan wrote an article for Armenian Times. It's about the Roboserj media's fake news campaign against her, which begun last year and continues today.
Being a journalist herself, she explains how some media outlets spread misinformation (by using anonymous sources) just so they can be the first ones to talk about a specific topic. (the helicopter lie, the Switzerland shopping, foundation, etc).
The article has 62,000 reads as of right now, which is big for this website. Take it away...
Yerevan Media Club, Helsinki Group and Informed Citizens organizations held a meeting to discuss various topics.
They noted that the old regime's representatives have launched a large scale campaign to purchase media outlets, create new ones, and to use them against the new government.
FIP attributed the rise of fake news in recent times to the revolution. During the previous regime, the media sphere was monopolized and not as free as today. This was sufficient for the previous regime. But now they opt for misinformation through websites and controlled social media accounts to smear the new government, because they don't have the administrative powers anymore.
"There are around 200 Armenian websites that spread fake news as of right now."
Here is a fake news from me:
Today QP MP Alen Simonyan kidnapped a group of students, held them hostage in his office and demanded their support for the new national anthem, say the anonymous sources. The students were safely rescued by SWAT after an hour long negotiations. The authorities have agreed to partially change the anthem lyrics.
Artsakh Parliament speaker and Foreign Ministry representatives have participated in the European Parliament session today, and spoke about human rights topics and Azerbaijan government's practice of teaching Armenophobia to Azeri kids from early ages.
Ermenihaber: Turkish economy shrank 2.7% on the last quarter of 2018. The government's prediction of 2.5% growth for this quarter is unrealistic.
2018: Turkish Lira devalued by 30% compared to Dollar. 25% rise of consumer product costs, the biggest rise in 15 years.
Apparently people really liked this bus stop in Ejmiatsin
SPOILER Alert: Watch Real Madrid vs Ajax goals.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ay44ue/anticorruption_mar62019_new_corruption_story/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|