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2018 December 27

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Dec/27/2018: Military officials, construction director facing criminal charges // NSS arrests policeman for bribery // Mayor, municipality, caught with dozens of embezzlement incidents // Electric prices down 30% for poor // Former officials bought lands not subject for sale // Sch..
by ar_david_hh

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

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Investigative Committee has uncovered embezzlement in the military. The director of a construction company, tasked with building a security structure on 2013, is facing criminal charges. The company cut the corners by building less secure walls with violations to the contract, then falsified the documents to cover it up.

The same company was also hired on 2017 and committed similar crimes.

The director is changed with 4 crimes. He has admitted the guilt and recovered the stolen funds.

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Similar investigations have revealed other criminal actions during constructions. 7 other company directors and 3 high ranking army officers were charged.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959583.html

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NSS has arrested a police officer at the scene of the bribery. A resident contacted the security services that notified that a police officer demanded 330k bribe to falsify documents and drop complaint charges against the resident

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/151496

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Geghakert mayor and municipality staff are facing embezzlement charges after Armavir governor's office audits they work for the past several years, and discovers over a dozen violations, property and financial embezzlement incidents. The list is too big to write here.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/150581

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Public Utilities Committee has reviewed the electricity prices and decided to lower the cost for low income citizens by a whopping 25% for daytime usage, and 33% for nighttime. Prices went from AMD 40/30, to 30/20 (day/night). Effective February 1st.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959588.html

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Hetq paper had earlier published a report showing how on 2007 the government gave state-owned lands to Tsakhkadzor municipality, which then sold the lands to several high ranking politicians.

Prosecutors took the case to examine the deal, and discovered that the employees responsible for transferring the lands had falsified documents during the process to describe the lands as qualified for sale and subsequent construction, while in reality satellite photos show the lands had large quantities of trees, thus there were supposed to remain as part of protected lands under the supervision of Forest Reserve body.

SIS has taken over the case to continue the investigation.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/99602 ------ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959664.html

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A school director in Jrvezh is charged with embezzlement of 11mln after hiring 2 non-existent employees then stealing their salaries https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959678.html

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Paper Jamanak reports that MTS-Armenia and Karabakh-Telekom mobile carriers will soon audit Robert Kocharyan's dominant shares in the companies.

The government may attempt to break this cell phone monopoly and end the roaming fees between Armenia and Artsakh, which has enriched Kocharyan for decades through pocketing from Armenian soldiers serving in Artsakh front-lines, writes the paper citing its internal sources which have not been publicly verified.

https://factor.am/111747.html

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The government will spend 5.7bln to help over 1,100 soldiers to purchase apartments, mostly in provinces.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959585.html

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The government has issued Hrant Energy company a permit to operate in a free economic zone in Armenia.

The company will produce hydrogen engine turbines for export to Russia. The annual exports will reach 145bln ($300mln). 1000 jobs with 350k salaries will be created.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959590.html

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The government has extended tax-free status of Sevan-Aqua company that breeds fish for local and external consumption in Lake Sevan. The practice preserves the wildlife in the lake. 2.8bln in investments will be made, mostly already done.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959591.html

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Kakad-Mirked Inc. receives a temporary tax free status to invest 1.1bln on electrical equipment production, providing 87 jobs with 153k salary and annual 12.7bln annual exports mainly to Russia.

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Teffi Inc. to invest 28mln on electric meter parts production. 120 new jobs, 162k salary, 1.1bln annual production for domestic market.

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And 8 other businesses with total of 32.1bln investments, 600 jobs, 150-400k salaries.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959635.html

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In a joint project with a US company and ARM government, 18.4bln will be invested to renovate Yerevan and Gyumri airports to improve their standards. The latter will be able to accept larger Airbus 320 and Boeing 757 jets.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959609.html

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Artsakh Republic GDP grew 12.2% on 2018, reaching 198bln. More than half of the growth came from industry.

GDP per capital will be $4260, up from $3845. It is on par with Armenia and other Caucasus republics.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959625.html

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Artsakh's capital Stepanakert will expand with two new residential districts. The provincial residents will receive more favorable housing loans, with 1% interest rate instead of 5%, and down payment of 5% instead of 10%

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959628.html

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Industrial production grew by 31% this year. Electricity production up 20%.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959626.html

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Vardenis' HHK mayor has resigned citing family matters. Snap elections will be held. Similar snap elections to be held in two other cities as well.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/151482

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MPG poll stats from 602 Yerevan residents: 71% approve the cost for the new Christmas Tree. 20% believe the city in general looks very good, 3% said city looks very bad, the rest in the middle.

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Police chief Valery Osipyan's rating is high: 4.3 out of 5. The former police chief (now subject of various criminal investigations) Vladimir Gasparyan's approval was 3.85 during his administration.

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81% saw and improvement in the police work. 3.5% saw a negative trend.

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57% of residents feel the traffic police is more forgiving towards rule violators.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959598.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959610.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959611.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959643.html

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Pashinyan has met Putin. The latter congratulated Pashinyan with the Parliamentary victory, wished him success. Noted that the trade between two countries is significantly up, vowed to continue the trend.

Pashinyan joked that he lost count on the number of visits to Russia, and invited Putin to visit Armenia. The gas prices will remain the same, but the negotiations will continue on lower levels. Both sides discussed the general strategy in the relations moving forward.

https://factor.am/112041.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959675.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959679.html ---- https://www.aysor.am/am/news/2018/12/28/%D5%A3%D5%A1%D5%A6/1508975

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They spoke about adding more amendments to CSTO military bloc to legally clarify the procedures about chairmanship selection, in the event the current leader is unable to continue, to avoid internal disagreements like the one we've seen lately. (Armenia's leadership is set to expire on 2019. Belarus has submitted his candidate as a successor.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPsjERHThig

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Paper Hraparak writes: During one of earlier Pashinyan-Putin meetings, the latter tried to convince Pashinyan to let Kocharyan out of prison by expressing his opinions on why Rob didn't break the law. Pashinyan allegedly countered Putin's opinion by explaining why Rob broke the law and should be charged.

Putin then apparently told him that Rob is a close friend. Pashinyan then responded saying "I regret that you have friends like that".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/151518

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During 2018, banks have pardoned 7bln in loan penalties for 15,000 citizens. Pashinyan has encouraged all citizens with bad loans to contact the banks to see if they qualify to have their records "cleared".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959551.html

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Serzh Sargsyan has quit from the Yerevan State University's Board of Trustees. The board "elections" happen every 5 years, during which the Prime Minister appoints new members. Currently, they are mostly consisted of high ranking HHK politicians.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263919/

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Armenian politics since the rise of HHK, chronologically.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wle4eKw1_wE

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Attacks on free speech continue in Turkey. Two major media organizations had their shows suspended for issuing a mild critique to the authoritarian leader Recep "The Gollum" Erdogan

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/151527

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/aa3luq/anticorruption_dec272018_military_officials/

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