2019 April 26
Anti-Corruption - Apr/26/2019: Portugal has recognized the Armenian Genocide..... Prosecutors confirm SOC findings about anti-competitive dialyses purchases.... QP to repeal HHK's anti-competitive branding law.... Working students could get free tuition.... Car import tariffs could change.... more
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
[Former] SOC chief David Sanasaryan earlier announced that they discovered anti-competitive practices by dialyses equipment companies and hospitals. It is part of this broader investigation that 3 SOC employees were charged with breaking the law and purposely helping a specific medical company to win a contract with a hospital. SOC chief David Sanasaryan insisted that their findings were legitimate, and that the SOC staff was charged in an unrelated case.
Today, the General Prosecutor's office has confirmed these SOC findings. Several hospital employees are charged with abusing their powers and harming the state.
Prosecutors say that during 2015-2019, the St. Gregory Illuminator and Vanadzor hospitals purchased dialysis equipment worth 722mln while paying 1.6bln for it, to "A" company.
The A company won all 8 auctions and 92 criterias. The auctions were non-competitive and violated existing laws, say prosecutors. During the purchase licensing auctions, the hospitals demanded the equipment to have technical characteristics unique to one specific equipment company, even going as far as to name a particular model of the equipment as the required product, which prevented similar products from other manufacturers with the ability to get the job done, from being able to win the auction.
When the hospital later changed the criteria, 4 companies begun to participate, and offered noticeably lower prices for the equipment. When the competition was secured, the A company sold the same equipment for cheaper prices.
Vanadzor hospital also had a similar story, in which the same A company sold the same equipment for 8.8mln/month less when the competition was guaranteed. Vanadzor paid ~25% more for the same equipment than St. Gregory did.
Prosecutors confirm the SOC findings that hospital staff did this purposely. They are facing a felony charge.
NSS chief Vanetsyan says he doesn't mind if former SOC chief Sanasaryan's investigation is transferred from NSS to SIS. The reason NSS is examining the case is because initially NSS launched the investigation not against SOC chief, but against another medical company and rank-and-file SOC workers who were suspected of colluding. It was later revealed to them that the SOC chief was involved. If the SOC chief was the initial suspect in the case, the SIS would have taken the case from the beginning.
Vanetsyan says he is confident the case against Sanasaryan is strong, involves witnesses, and that it'll be sent to court soon. He denies Sanasaryan's claims that it was a setup. Says the NSS hasn't set anyone up since he took the office after the April revolution.
Context: Some people argued it was SIS's job to investigate and prosecute high ranking officials. Sanasaryan himself said he wants the case to be transferred from NSS to SIS.
On March 7th, one of the original Jermuk mineral water factory owners came forward with a story about how the HHK regime members took away the "Jermuk" business brand from him, harassed with penalties, then passed a law to prevent him and others from being able to use the word Jermuk on their labels. A HHK oligarch became the sole brand owner as a result.
Now, several QP MPs are discussing a bill to repeal HHK's branding laws. The repeal would allow, for example, companies located in Jermuk city to use the term Jermuk on the label, even if the term "Jermuk" was registered as a trademark by someone else. The MPs say the current restrictions are anti-competitive and violate existing laws.
Azatutyun media was able to confirm that former HHK MP Mihran Poghosyan (Panama Paper suspect) is in fact currently detained in a facility in Karelia Republic, Russia.
QP is discussing a bill that will make higher education free for some students who have a job and pass the required grading scores.
FIP media outlet is demanding an apology from Roboserj outlet ArmDaily, for an alleged defamation. FIP earlier exposed a misinformation published by ArmDaily, in which the latter accused Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan of wasting state resources by taking "too many" assistants with him to a work visit to Germany. FIP presented counter-points about the presented "wasted resources". ArmDaily accused FIP of justifying Mirzoyan's actions, and other things. FIP disagreed with the wording, calling it defamatory.
Opposition LHK party earlier said Pashinyan's numbers about 50,000 new jobs don't add up, because the number of mandatory contributions paid towards the military fund didn't increase by 50,000. Pashinyan said it is a known problem when some people/companies still avoid these fees.
Today he published details of these 50,141 jobs (most came out of shadow). He says the government cannot exaggerate this number because it is reported by the businesses themselves to IRS, and can be verified with the businesses themselves. 2018 January: 511,902 jobs, 2019 January: 562,043
Armenian delegation is participating in the Silk Road trade route summit held in China. They agreed with the Chinese to discuss a nature protection and forestry pilot program in Armenia. "China has a strong record of planting new forests." [fact, China and India are the fastest forest planters]
The Chinese investors will invest $4mln to create a new water factory, gas pipelines and roads in Katnaghbyur. Initially the factory will have 60 workers, and will export the product.
Most car imports will cost more in a few months, due to EAEU trade bloc requirements, which Armenia is member of. One of the taxes will be calculated based on the car's engine power, instead of a fixed number. The older the car, the more its taxes will be raised. Instead of a fixed 10% tax, the old cars could be taxed at 40%. Cars imported from other EAEU countries will be exempt from the excessive taxation.
There will be discussions about this in EAEU in May.
(Source/Opinion: opposition BHK party and PARA TV.)
Portugal's Parliament has just recognized the Armenian Genocide, for the first time. It condemned the 1.5mln killings and deportations of Armenians that begun on 1915.
Brazilian soccer club Corinthians Paulista commemorated the 1915 Armenian Genocide before the match.
Your neighbors were hosting Formula 1 in Baku, the other day. The race had to stop after a $10 million car got destroyed while driving over an improperly tightened manhole on the street. While the truck towed the damaged F1 car away, it hit a bridge because the organizers forgot to take into account the bridge's low height. The damaged truck then begun to leak oil on the F1 car located on the trunk. 🍿🍿🍿
Edit: Added 3 popcorn emojis.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bhr2v7/anticorruption_apr262019_portugal_has_recognized/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|