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2018 November 11

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Nov/9/2018: Preschool kids will be taught anti-corruption lessons from early age; Arrest warrant for police firearm forensics expert for March 1st cover-up; Railways corruption case submitted to prosecutors; More Ministry of Energy and Envir. employees charged with abuse of power; ..
by ar_david_hh

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

The second suspect in the March 1st military involvement cover-up, who served as the chief forensics firearm expert in the police department, hasn’t been in the country for several years now. Earlier, the prosecutors sent an arrest warrant for him too. He is accused of colluding with the former chief March 1st investigator (also arrest warrant issued) to swap the military bullet shells with freshly shot police weapon shells to hide the military’s involvement in the shootings http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148181

Railways employees have been boycotting since earlier this week, after the management decided to end their bonus payments. The employees say the administration is corrupt and they’ve asked the NSS to investigate their financial dealings, which according to them will uncover enough funds to make bonus payments not an issue. Eventually, the management reversed the decision and will continue to pay bonuses besides the salaries. The boycotts have ended.

... The railways are managed by Russia-owned South Caucasus Railways, which was under an IRS investigation for dodging $60mln in taxes. The IRS has submitted the findings to prosecutors. Pashinyan and Putin had a discussing about this on September, and the Russian president agreed to support the investigation. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148048

Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutyan is taking measures to reduce corruption in preschools.

... new kindergarten programs will teach children from an early age that corruption and bribery is bad. They'll be taught important social skills.

... another measure will require the preschool administrators to more often and more transparently report the types of expenses that have been historically used to hide embezzlement. The preschool halls will have placards that explain the client’s rights and phone numbers of local authorities https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954010.html

... mayor Marutyan has issued City’s Gold Medal to Ararat-73 midfielder Sergey Bondarenko for his contributions to the development of sports in Armenia https://factor.am/98034.html

Prosecutors launch a criminal investigation against the employees of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources for ignoring environmental reports and illegally authorizing a mining license since 2012. Illegally mined resources were worth AMD 285mln http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148117

Yans restaurant is charged with not paying AMD 1.2bln in taxes. This is the business owned by Serj’s bodyguard who was earlier arrested for similar reasons. The authorities are trying to find the origins of his $1.1mln http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148139

It turns out neither Hrazdan mayor's candidate (QP Sasun Mikaelyan's son) nor his staff made any calls to the school director to ask him to bring people to his pre-election rally. The call was a "bait" set up by Informed Citizens (IC) led by Daniel Ionessyan (who has confirmed it) to see if the director would break any laws. Bringing people to a rally isn't against the law, but if the official used his position to pressure others, it would be an abuse of power.

... Hrazdan's [now] mayor's office found out about the bait and pressed charges against IC for illelgal wiretapping and identity theft (speaking on their behalf). Ionessyan was complaining that instead of launching a criminal investigation to find out if the school director abused his power, the Hrazdan prosecutors went after their agent for making the wiretap.

... Today, the Investigative committee responded to IC's complaints. They said part of the investigation of IC's wiretapping was also to find out if the school director abused his powers. 20 teachers and workers were questioned as witnesses. No evidence was uncovered that the director abused his powers or required them to do participate in rallies. Prosecutors say they’ve also examined the case in which IC observer was allegedly shouted at and threatened by someone during the Election Day, but decided not to press charges for lack of enough materials or cause of harm.

http://investigative.am/news/view/ionnisyan-parzabanum.html

Pashinyan criticizes the culture when young and able bodied people prefer to stay unemployed and receive public assistance instead. Says he has seen many cases in provinces where local businessmen would complain about open job positions and inability to find workers for years, while at the same time the residents of said settlement would complain about lack of jobs. PM says that the government should encourage people to be more active. https://youtu.be/3i2xrHWI8CU?t=341

Ministries of Culture and Labor have collaborated to form a subsidy program for seniors (for now up to 2,000 per month) to give them free tickets to museums and other points of interest in order to improve their social lives https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhiIQSFXbds

DO YOU LIFT BRO? Simon Martirosyan wins gold medal in weightlifting world championship. This is the first gold for Armenia in 8 years. The weight he lifted was a world record. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOtLhHsByIM


http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148153

The Smart Park is now open in Yerevan. (it’s the park we covered earlier, WiFi and stuff) http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148104

Turkish-Armenian MP Karo Paylan, representing HDP in Turkish Parliament, has called for the border with Armenia to be opened. Says the other problems can be solved once the two nations are more free to visit one another. Criticized the authorities for the growing poverty and decreased purchasing power of Turkish citizens. https://www.a1plus.am/1649022.html

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9vo7kh/anticorruption_nov92018_preschool_kids_will_be/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports
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