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2018 November 5

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Nov/5/2018: Predator becomes the prey; Oversight Committee finds former PM business stole water for 15 years; IRS employee charged; Vagharshapat municipality caught embezzling 590mln; dishonest director returns stolen funds; IRS to reward public to fight grey economy (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.

Conflict of interests, or Checks and Balances? HHK Gevorg Kostanyan, who is the head of the HHK-led Parliamentary commission which investigates SIS chief in the audio leak, was sued by an SIS agent back on February of 2018 (pre-revolution) for allegedly offering a bribe to the SIS agent in exchange for dropping a certain criminal investigation.

... the SIS agent testified against Kostanyan then, but the old SIS administration decided not to investigate Kostanyan. The SIS agent claimed it was a cover-up and took the case to the court to have the former SIS's "no-investigation" decision overturned, and yesterday received a positive verdict from the higher court. This means the new SIS administration could now be required to investigate Kostanyan for the alleged bribery and abuse of power, while Kostanyan himself investigates the new SIS chief for the audio leak.

https://factor.am/96483.html

State Oversight Committee strikes again: Greenhouses and vineyards belonging to the former Prime Minister Hovik “Muk” Abrahamyan have been supplied by water free of charge by illegally built pipelines for the past 15 years. The police is called to write a report. SOC will release a report soon. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147736

An IRS employee is charged with bribery and abuse of power after soliciting AMD 5mln bribe from a business owner in exchange for ending the pending criminal case against the business https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953319.html

Vagharshapat municipalities are being investigated for abuse of power and embezzlement of AMD 590mln. A mayor is accused of signing contracts between his business and the municipality, then raising costs of services for no reason.

... In another instance, the municipality didn’t properly inform residents about the land auction, and as a result, only few “insiders” were aware of it and and the land was solder several times cheaper than the market value.

...no proper enforcement was done to collect certain types of fees.

... incorrect gas consumption numbers were reported. More abuse of power in school financial dealings, and many other things you can read about below. Total of AMD 590mlm was stolen.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953388.html

The former director of Homeland-Diaspora government-funded organization has returned AMD 100mln of the stolen funds to the State Oversight Committee, after the latter launched an audit and discovered series of embezzlement and negligent spending http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147714

The director and a secretary of Shengavit social security department have been arrested for demanding a bribe from a senior citizen with the intention of falsifying his records to make him qualify for a pension. They were caught while the money was being handed over https://hetq.am/hy/article/97859

Shirak province is given AMD 426mln, the biggest aid in the past several years, to finish 17 projects. Schools, clinics, and homeless shelters will be repaired and built. A wool processing business will also receive a grand to create 20 jobs. Villages will have their water canals cleaned for improved efficiency https://hetq.am/hy/article/97799

The IRS is continuing to work on a law that will reduce taxes for small businesses, as reported earlier. A new category of businesses will be recognized - a micro-business - and they won’t have to pay any taxes as long as the trade is less than AMD 24mln/year. IRS boss says these businesses’ income levels are so low that the IRS often spends more money on enforcing and auditing their actions, than collecting taxes from them at the end of the year. The businesses will still be required to have cash registers so IRS can monitor their income levels to see if it exceeds 24mln.

...On 2020, they plan to give all businesses ID scanners. Buyers can swipe their ID cards while purchasing certain (or all?) items, and during the tax calculations period the IRS will refund some of the money back. More details in the video... https://hetq.am/hy/article/97808

... it is expected that the cash back will be 3%. This new system aims to solve two problems: encourage consumers to use their ID cards to purchase products so they can get “free money” at the end of the year, while at the same time making it harder or impossible for businesses to hide the real taxable income because people’s ID record will more or less show the business' trade levels. In other words, the consumers are fighting against the grey economy while getting rewarded http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147734

Education Minister explains the long-term plans. Hopes to transform the education institute from something in which students advance primarily by remembering things, to teaching students critical thinking and analysis. The 12th year school graduate would be able to enter a university with the school grades, without having to remember whole books and give additional exams.

... says some of the materials taught in universities could be moved to the 11th and 12th school years to make it more interesting and expose the students to what's coming next, and fill that free time in university with something more closely related to the major chosen by the student.

... Says the Technology topic currently attracts many students and puts other subjects such as Chemistry at a significant “deficit”.

https://factor.am/96433.html

Funds dedicated for Education will increase by 12% for 2019. The share of budget spent on education will be reduced from 2.17 to 2.08% due to the overall state budget increase https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953336.html

What? Where? When? intellectual competition’s world championship is taking place in Yerevan. Magistrates were also present. Alexander Druzh was obviously happy with the cognac presence https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953256.html

HHK's Shawarmazanov hopes to win the MP mandate from Alaverdi, his home town. He plans to add his name to the ballot through the "rating system" (runs separately but as a party member), which is what the Parliament tried to repeal last week. Other HHK MP candidates have also begun rallying their supporters. In other news, ANC party (Ter-Petrosyan's folks) says they won't participate on December 9th. https://factor.am/96226.html

HHK Ara Babloyan, the Parliament speaker, will quit politics and continue to work in the medical field. He owns the Arabkir pediatric clinic https://factor.am/96430.html

The government is drafting a bill which would remove the VAT tax from all imported electric vehicles with the condition that they won’t be exported to another country within a year. This is part of the plan to fight the pollution http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147770

Lav Yereko is having fun with MPs in the Parliament building. Samvel Farmanyan was late to Pashinyan's PM voting session because of the chitchat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFNjRyBOJ2o

Weekend Vitamin Club https://youtu.be/ad5UOJz1QzM?t=153

Argentinian prosecutors have launched a criminal case against soccer star Leonel Messi for allegedly using his charity foundation to launder money through offshore firms. One of his former employees has testified against the company. https://www.aysor.am/am/news/2018/11/03/Մեսսին/1486434

Azerbaijan has stopped purchasing Iranian oil due to American sanctions https://factor.am/96460.html

Here is how Ilham Aliyev lobbies the United States for his regime. PHOTO: http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147747

Russian-Armenian tennis player Karen Khachanov has defeated Novak Djokovic in his first Masters match. Earlier, Karen won the international Kremlin Cup and won gold for Russia for the first time since 2009 http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261909

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9uhhfb/anticorruption_nov52018_predator_becomes_the_prey/

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