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2018 November 20

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Nov/20/2018: Taron Margaryan's campaign manager pleads guilty to 2017 election fraud; a hooligan who attacked April protesters turns himself in; university and school administration under criminal investigation; (more below...)
by ar_david_hh

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

Updates from Zibilix case, in which HHK was caught committing election fraud and spending $100,000 to buy voters during the 2017 Yerevan mayor’s elections. The main suspect, former HHK Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan’s campaign manager, has admitted the guilt. Eleven people are on trial. Three others have also plead guilty. Backstory: Taron Margaryan’s office made a plan to distribute bribes to residents, and threw the blueprint documents into the trash can instead of shredding it. The documents were found by Pashinyan’s team, who at the time was Margaryan’s main opponent in the municipality elections. The old authorities covered up the fraud by dropping the investigation on 2017, but the decision was challenged by the plaintiffs and reopened by the investigative committee after the revolution. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148823

Criminal case for bribery and document forgery is launched against State University of Economics Gyumri branch staff for issuing diplomas to Masters degree students between 2014-2017, even though they failed the courses.

...another anti-corruption investigation results in criminal charges against School 37 administration for taking bribes and assisting to bribery, after an employee contacted the police and informed that the administration demanded half of his salary to keep the job, as well as embezzles various funds http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148824

One of the accused hooligans who attacked the protesters during the April revolution has turned himself in. He is the director of a sports school in Masis. The authorities had earlier arrested Masis mayor and his brother as part of the investigation. 15 people were charged, 10 were ordered to be arrested, 4 were released on bail, 1 is still on the run http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148842

Yerevan municipality has issued a warning to a kindergarten director for code violations. The city earlier begun to make unannounced visits to child care centers to check the conditions https://www.aysor.am/am/news/2018/11/20/%D5%BF%D5%B6%D6%85%D6%80%D5%A5%D5%B6-%D5%BF%D5%B8%D6%82%D5%B5%D5%AA/1494023

PM Pashinyan accuses HHK-linked actors for spreading misinformation about Ministers of Education and Health for their fight against corruption, with the latter being targeted on social media after uncovering massive embezzlement scheme in St Gregory Illuminator hospital http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148788

... says no diasporan worker or their relative will be doable-taxed after returning home, and transfers to family members won't be taxed. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/955147.html —— http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148791

... FLASHBACK: On 2015, HHK proposed and voted in favor a law to impose 13% tax on Armenian construction workers working in diaspora, during the first session of the bill's hearing in Parliament. https://fip.am/4993

... the Pashinyan cabinet has denied again that private money transfers will be taxed. https://factor.am/100675.html —- https://factor.am/100696.html

... the documents that the law enforcement has been waiting for from a foreign embassy to press the big corruption charges against an MP, has partially arrived, says Pashinyan. The NSS chief has earlier said that they’ll publish official information within a week http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148795

... another Kocharyan-linked oligarch, Samvel Mayrapetyan, is still under arrest after being charged with bribery and corruption. Pashinyan says only his personal assets were frozen as part of the investigation. Mayrapetyan’s job as the chief of H2 network plays no role in this investigation, and the network’s assets weren’t the target http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148796

... says the police has and is providing the needed protection for the Catholicos, in response to a journalist’s question about the recent failed bill that would make it a law for Catholicos to have a state-funded bodyguards.

... criticizes HHK for creating a show around the church and religion topic. Says the sects that HHK is criticizing weren’t formed in the last 6 months. Says HHK had LGBT members on 2000s but somehow that was never an issue then, and no one was paid to protest against HHK. (he is talking about HHK’s recent anti-gay propaganda in Parliament, and their attempt to frame Pashinyan as pro-LGBT)

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148808 —- https://factor.am/100845.html

... the IRS is currently investigating corruption cases involving AMD 64bln in unpaid fees https://armenpress.am/arm/news/955142.html

Gas price investigation chief BHK Mikael Malkumyan says 4% of gas is written off as a “loss” while transporting gas to local facilities. That loss should be less than 1%. The 2% of the gas is lost while delivering to consumers. He finds it strange that the gas delivery efficiency by GazProm-Armenia has decreased in the past decade, while it should have been the opposite due to investments and technologies https://armenpress.am/arm/news/955140.html

... says the electricity price can also be lowered by taking several actions, such as reducing the electric grid company’s profit from 14% to 12%, correcting the calculations to more accurately show that the delivery losses are 9% and not 11% as stated right now, and to further reduce it to 7.4% by 2020. The recent renovation in the nuclear plant has increased the work capacity by 20MW, which can also help to reduce the cost for consumers. He says it’s possible to reduce it again by AMD 3.5 as early as next February. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/955169.html

Karen Khazaryan, the mentally ill villager who unknowingly crossed the border with Azerbaijan at night, is facing bogus charges involving the Aliyev regime bribing local residents to testify as if Khazaryan was preparing to commit a terror attack in a local market. The next episode of the show will be aired on November 27th. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148836

An agricultural machinery company from Litva will invest $15mln to create a tractor producing factory in Armenia and produce 8,000 tractors and other agricultural products, mainly to be exported to European markets. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/955213.html

Pashinyan says a household appliances factory will be build in Armenia, more details later. Says his administration is changing the priorities from focusing on artificial economic growth numbers associated with unpredictable things such as mining and international metal prices, unstable gambling revenue, into other more reliable parts of economy such as manufacturing http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/262524

Artsakh Republic president's spokesman says they'll build a large sports arena in capital Stepanakert, 2 new child care centers, 2 more in provinces, and another one will be renovated http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148813

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9yw38k/anticorruption_nov202018_taron_margaryans/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports
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