2018 August 25

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption August/twenty-five/two thousand eighteen: VEOLIA WATER INVESTIGATED FOR BRIBING REGULATORS AND EMBEZZLING 3.7BLN; Arshaluys municipally council members investigated for participating in voting that enriched family members; NSS launched criminal investigation against its own employee
by ar_david_hh

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.


Three executives at Veolia Water are under a criminal investigation for a massive corruption scheme. The police is accusing them of forming puppet companies under family member names, then using AMD 3.7bln Veolia money (coming from public) to pay themselves for various services provided by those puppet companies, at a significantly higher than market rate.

During 2017-2018, they allegedly bribed the former director and 7 employees of the Public Services Regulatory Commission, by buying gifts worth dozens of millions. This Commission then allowed them to raise the water prices from 180d to 191d.

The public has long complained about the quality of Veolia Water work, and recently, PM Pashinyan said that the company is accused of wasting water and resources, as much as 80% of it, and that there will be an investigation around this. Few days earlier, Veolia Water was fined AMD 10mln to not following with several contract obligations.

Veolia Water and the former Regulatory Commission chief are denying the police report

https://youtu.be/eBi_-uM3gmE?t=624

--- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944946/

NSS chief Vanetsyan apologizes to the public, says the person who took a hidden photo of Manvel Grigoryan in the detention center is a high ranking NSS employee. There is an investigation against him, and he'll be fired once it's finished. If it turns out his actions are a criminal act, he will be prosecuted in court. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944943/ ----- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIpjA6HqndE

Armavir governors office is auditing Arshaluys mayor’s office. They’ve found 6 instances of council members illegally participating in voting that had direct positive impact on their family members. In some instances, they voted to give the family members financial assistance. The law says they should refrain from voting due to conflict of interest. Governor's office has recovered those funds. https://armlur.am/833969/

Minister of Education Araik Harutyunyan has prohibited ministry staff to use work vehicles to travel between home and office. Says the vehicles are only meant for work-related official visits. The number of cars owned and paid by the ministry has been significantly reduced. The cars are placed on auction. Few months earlier, Pashinyan promised that they'll cut the spending on "padavat". http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/142923

Police chief Osipyan says the number of calls to the police has risen by 37%, and 44% more complaints are filed to police administration about the work of officers, as a result of public’s increased trust in the law enforcement and accountability. The department will create a council for public affairs, consisted of 47 officers, journalists and civil activists, and engage the public during important rule-making decisions. Vows to make the police work more transparent. https://armlur.am/834010/

... reminds that under the upcoming traffic reforms, the drivers will lose their license after receiving multiple violation points. The first two DUIs will result in a license suspension, while the third one will result in jail time. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944940/

RIDE SHARE ARMENIAN STYLE! Angela Merkel’s security details require a reinforced bulletproof vehicle. Since there was no extra such vehicle, president Armen Sargissian had to lend his bulletproof BMW to Merkel and use his personal Cadillac to drive to the meeting with her and Pashinyan https://armlur.am/833959/

German MP Albert Weiler, who was denied access to Azerbaijan for visiting Republic of Artsakh, has stayed in Armenia and met with business owners of Zangezur copper mine. Said he sees no problem with visiting Artsakh again, and that Azerbaijan's ban will have a negative impact on German-Azeri relations. Weiler and Angela Merkel had earlier met with Garegin B. www.aysor.am/am/news/2018/08/25/Վայլեր-Զանգեզուր/1456168

Angela Merkel has arrived in Baku, where she was greeted only by the deputy PM and deputy FM. Ilham Aliyev wasn't at the airport. They discussed human rights, energy cooperation and Artsakh conflict. Merkel will spend few hours in Baku then leave for Berlin, thus concluding her Caucasus trip https://youtu.be/eBi_-uM3gmE?t=237

Armenia is in talks with India to modify and purchase a rocket system with a 80km firing range. https://youtu.be/OA5xBXL-sO4?t=487


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9a9bpg/anticorruption_augusttwentyfivetwo_thousand/


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