2018 August 31

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption 8/31/2018: 2 mayors indicted for embezzlement; multiple government-run organizations under investigation after abuse of power and corruption found; American media picks up Dan Bilzerian story; popcorn tastes good
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.


H1 picks up the "Credit Yerevan" bank story in which the former owner accused Serj Sargsyan and others of extortion and illegal persecution https://youtu.be/o6sk8Y6R_fY?t=809

Ministry of Health conducts an audit in government-run tuberculosis center and discovers a corruption scheme, submits the files to the prosecutors. Former officials are accused of hiring 3 non-existent employees and embezzling AMD 29mln in salaries. The officials also signed a contract with a door-to-door medical services provider, which charged 4x higher than the industry standard pricing for the provided services. As a result of improper service contracting, AMD 67mln damage was done to the state. A similar deal was signed years earlier which caused AMD 44mln in damages. The branch’s secretary is indicted for the embezzlement of AMD 55mln, and he has already agreed to pay the 7mln back. The case is also referred to IRS to conduct a full audit https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945660/

Ministry of Diaspora finds a corruption in Fatherland-Diaspora Center government-run nonprofit, and submits it to prosecutors. The leaders are facing criminal charges for taking out cash from the budget and using it for unknown purposes, as well as ignoring the bidders with the lower money offer during auctions and deliberately choosing other companies, which resulted in AMD 21mln in damages https://news.am/arm/news/468737.html

Government-funded musical school director in Vardenis faces criminal charges for embezzlement, after an audit discovers that he hired several non-existent employees and took their salaries. AMD 4.1mln has been recovered http://investigative.am/news/view/charashahumner-vardenisi-erajshtakan-dproc.html

The State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition launches an investigation against Arzni Tohmayin Inc. after laboratory examination of 11 various dairy products reveals that Arzni's butter contains vegetable oil. This is in violation of new EEU (economic bloc) law, proposed and passed by Armenia, which introduced stricter regulations against deceptive food product labeling https://news.am/arm/news/468762.html

Former Syunik governor Liska’s second son, who was also being investigated for dodging military service like his brother (who was charged with crime recently) , has been ruled as healthy by the medical commission. The commission concluded that he DOES have the health problem that got him out earlier, but its intensity and impact was exaggerated to avoid the service. He is still going through medical examinations. Earlier, he contacted the defense minister and asked him to be recruited in army voluntarily https://news.am/arm/news/468740.html

Vaghashen mayor faces embezzlement charges after the police discovers that he stole AMD 11.4mln from the budget. He received salaries while out of country, and stole fuel and parts belonging to the town's vehicle fleet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYYl6QDalTc

--- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945689/

Akunk mayor faces charges after registering 5 family members as employees, who never attended to work, then embezzling the AMD 22.3mln in salaries https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945691/

Robert Kocharyan will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Doesn’t say through which party. Rob and Putin had a phone conversation. The latter congratulated Rob with his birthday. Russian FM says the convo was not related to his March 1st investigation. https://armlur.am/835412/ —- https://news.am/arm/news/468738.html

Former Defense Minister of Armenia, who is on the wanted list for his involvement in March 1st murders, is believed to be in Russia. Because he is a Russian citizen, he cannot be extradited to Armenia according to Russian law, writes Interfax news agency, citing their anonymous sources. Armenian FM doesn’t comment on those anonymous sources and says they have no information about his whereabouts. https://armlur.am/835509/

... if former Defense Minister Harutyunyan was a Russian citizen as of 2002 according to Interfax, then he violated the Armenian Constitution by becoming the Defense Minister, because at the time there was no dual-citizenship law and only Armenian citizen had the right to hold the position http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/143434

4 members of Zaruhi Postanjyan's Yerkir Tsirani party have resigned and asked their names to be removed from the upcoming Yerevan election list, citing differences with the administration. The activist politicians had earlier brought a can of sewer water and tried to force the former mayor Taron Margaryan to smell it during one of municipality sessions, as a sign of protests around the environmental issue in Nubarashen. A fight broke out afterwards. (🍿 tastes good) https://news.am/arm/news/468749.html

Few stories in tldr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs8Q5n0MgTw

The government approves an aid package for 17 large projects in Kotayk region. AMD 610mln will he spent on building water canals, sports buildings, etc https://news.am/arm/news/468764.html

Minister of Agriculture says 1/3rd of farming lands aren’t utilized properly. The government will aid land owners in converting unused lands into wheat fields, while converting some of the existing wheat fields into areas that produce more expensive products, in order to maximize the farmer’s and state’s income https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945635/

.... Minister also says there are currently regulations that make it harder for the local cognac, wine and spirit makers to compete with importers, due to unnecessary barriers that make importing cheaper. These artificial barriers will be removed to promote the local production and jobs. Large businesses will pay an additional fee https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945653/

Georgia keeps its promise. Signs a contract to reduce wheat transfer fees via railroads by 52% https://news.am/arm/news/468691.html

Viliam Saroyan museum-house is opened in Fresno, California. The city council adopts a measure to recognize August 31st as "Vilyam Saroyan Day" https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945663/

“People” magazine picks up the Bilzerian story and interviews him. Bilzerian said he’ll fight the Azeri INTERPOL request, calling it a cheap political tactic. Armenia has already contacted INTERPOL with a request to ignore the Azeri petition. Foreign Ministry says INTERPOL has rejected similar ridiculous submissions by Azeris in past https://people.com/crime/dan-bilzerian-azerbaijan-arrest-warrant/ ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945591/

... Bilzerian's father, whose grandparents escaped the Genocide, calls for Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and establish peace between two countries http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/143452

The United Nation's secretary of refugee issues is in Armenia. Discussions took place around the 500,000 Armenian refugees who were forced to leave Azerbaijan during the Artsakh war, as well as illegal border crossings into Armenia https://news.am/arm/news/468791.html

Terrorist attack in self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic. The president is killed, Finance Minister and another person wounded. Several suspects are under arrest https://armenpress.am/arm/news/945714/


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9bxkqp/anticorruption_8312018_2_mayors_indicted_for/


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