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2018 December 18

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Dec/18/2018: Criminal charges against former Police Chief for abuse of power in a story involving Gagik Tsarukyan // Yerevan municipality to use 3x less resources for the same elevator repair job // IRS busts 425mln tax-dodging // Former PM Karen Karapetyan quits HHK // more below...
by ar_david_hh

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. The post contains allegations that are yet to be proven in court. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.

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Former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan is under a criminal investigation for illegal orders, aiding anti-competitive practices, and pressuring a businessman to support HHK. This story involves BHK Gagik Tsarukyan. We first learned about this story several months ago, when Tsarukyan was found pressuring his competitors out of market with anti-competitive practices. Now an evidence shows Gasparyan was involved too.

Two companies owned by a Businessman were given licenses to transport passenger between cities. Tsarukyan decided to push this Businessman out of market by providing transportation through the same route free of charge, under the guise of charity. This ended up bankrupting the Businessman, whose companies were then purchased by Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan then begun charging a fee from passengers, ending his "charity".

New evidence shows that, while this was happening, then police chief Gasparyan promised to help the Businessman with the competition case, if the latter agreed to support HHK in the upcoming 2012 Parliamentary elections.

Gasparyan introduced the Businessman to HHK members and the police department of Abovyan city (where the transportation route was), so they could "work together". Gasparyan then allegedly gave an illegal order to the police not to cause any "problems" for the Businessman, even if they catch him violating traffic laws.

Gasparyan also gave an order for the police to begin causing problems for Tsarukayn's free transportation service, as part of an agreement with the now-bankrupt Businessman.

Gasparyan is facing criminal charges. Investigation continues. Gasparyan denies any wrongdoing.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150864

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Street gangster Noratusci Alik has been found not guilty of murder. On 2016, him and his friend were arrested and charged with a murder of a man. The court has just acquitted them. Alik claims the former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan was behind their illegal arrest, and that allegedly they were set up by him. He refused to give any details. (This is his version of the story. No further info was provided.)

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150841

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Yerevan municipality has discovered that the funds dedicated for apartment complex elevator repairs were wasted by the previous administration. The same work could have been done with three times less resources.

Other areas of expenditures have been optimized as well. As a result, the city will spend less money next year for the same work. (Context: Yesterday, municipality's opposition members complained that the city was reducing its expenditures.)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958596.html

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IRS has busted two large construction companies for avoiding 350mln in taxes. They built high-rise apartment complexes, then declared each apartment's value far below the real market value, in order to avoid taxes between 2015-2018. The managers were arrested.

The suspects cooperated with IRS and admitted that in reality 425mln was hidden from the state. They've so far repaid the 335mln.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958573.html

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IRS reminds the show-business stars, now with a harsher tone, that they should declare their income at the end of the year and pay income taxes. Vows to conduct audits otherwise.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958576.html

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Former Prime Minister and HHK's once second-in-command Karen Karapetyan has left the party. He came to Armenia on 2017 with an attempt to change the HHK brand. During the April revolution, his appointment as PM was seen as the last hope by HHK to stop Pashinyan's march. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958491.html ----- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150837

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Chess grandmaster Levon Aronyan finishes 4th in London Chess Tournament, after playing multiple draws but then losing to world vice-champion Fabiano Caruana in the blitz matches. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958489.html

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We know the name of the soccer specialist whom Soccer Federation invited to improve the sport in Armenia. Hines Melendez and two other Spanish specialists will move to Armenia on January 1st to act as the technical director of Soccer Federation.

Melendez has served as a technical instructor at UEFA between 2008-2011, then FIFA 2011-today. Between 2011-2018 he was the deputy chief of Spanish Soccer Federation, and Spanish national team coordinator. His teams won 7 championship titles and 3 silvers. He coached youth teams as well, who won 6 European championships.

Some of his students are Andres Iniesta, Isco, Xavi Hernandes, Juana Mata, Gerard Picue.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150881

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Fact checking Fact checkers.

Russian ambassador confirms that the foreign military transparency agreement with Armenia applies only to foreign military in biological laboratories. Russia is seeking similar assurances from other neighboring countries as well, to make sure western-funded labs aren't being used to harm Russia. The agreement does not place a ban or dictate anything to Armenia, says ambassador Sergey Kopirkin. The agreement is still being prepared.

Many media outlets incorrectly reported that Russia wanted an agreement to ban foreign army presence in Armenia. This was a result of a lazy job by the reporters who ignored the context of Russian FM Lavrov's speech. https://factor.am/109181.html -------- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958541.html

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Russian ambassador says Armenia and Russia have protocols of congratulating one another, and Russia tries to stick to it. Russian side officially congratulates when a leader takes the office, which will happen on January in this case. This was in response to questions on why Putin hasn't congratulated Pashinyan yet. (Putin has already congratulated Pashinyan once after his first election as PM, and hugged him after the latest Parliamentary elections. Sleep tight tonight my մտահոգ friends!)

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150862

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The Central Bank denies the social media rumors that Dram is going to sharply devalue after the New Year's day. Says the currency is stable and that deposits and transactions in Dram have noticeably increased in 2018.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/958524.html

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BHK's Enfiajyan had earlier accused Bright Armenia leader Edmon Marukyan of committing a felony by allegedly lying to Parliament about his permanent resident status (read yesterday post), before being countered by Informed Citizens article explaining why Marukyan did not break the law.

Today, Prosecutor's office responded to Enfiajyan's calls for Marukyan's arrest, saying the case was examined by the prosecutors on 2014, and no crime was found. There won't be a new investigation.

https://factor.am/109263.html

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5 Turkish internet users are arrested and sentenced for offending Turkey's president Recep "The Gollum" Erdogan http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/150824

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5 years ago, Formula1 pilot Michael Shoemaker suffered a serious brain and back injury while skiing. He has just now been disconnected from the intensive care equipment. He will continue to receive regular care at home. The medical bill is 20mln Euros, for those wondering. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263634/