2019 December 10
Anti-Corruption & News TDLRs - Dec/10/2019 :: Economy _ Jobs _ Taxes _ Sales receipts :: Court verdicts :: Asylum denied :: Foreign affairs :: Kocharyan's friends :: ECHR :: Charity embezzlement busted :: Arthur Vanetsyan :: Russia :: Crime rate _ Road yielding :: Import tariffs _ e-commerce
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.
Earlier this year the NSS arrested the deputy Heath-care Minister and a clinic director for bribery.
Today the clinic director plead guilty while the former official refused to plead guilty to the accusations "that are described the way they are described right now".
The next session is in January.
Serj's fugitive nephew Franklin "Narek Sargsyan" Gonzales will be extradited from Czechia to Armenia after court approval. Franklin's asylum was denied.
He is wanted for kidnapping and assault, as well as possible drug and gun charges.
Lake Sevan levels are 4cm higher than this time last year.
Yesterday EutoNest forum took place during which the Armenian delegation thwarted an Azeri attempt to discuss the "safety of Metsamor nuclear plant" with the purpose of shutting it down. The Armenian delegation's suggestions about discussing human rights were accepted.
Since it was a genocide remembrance day, the Armenian delegation asked the forum to pay respects to the victims of the Armenian genocide with a minute of silence.
The only delegate who didn't stand was the Azerbaijani. Later, the Azeri govt media mislead their readers by saying very few delegates stood up.
Today the Armenian delegate published a video showing how everyone else stood for a minute of silence.
Metsamor NPP will work until 2026, then through renovations, it could be extended until 2036.
Russia, Korea, and the US have programs about installing new nuclear plants in their countries. When they're done, Armenia could possibly launch negotiations to have one installed in Armenia as well.
Earlier Armenia took a $270mln loan from Russia with a 3% annual interest rate to renovate the 2nd nuclear bloc existing Number-Two bloc of Metsamor. It'll be done by 2021. Right now only 1 bloc is functioning.
The nuclear plant's share in Armenia's electricity production is between 33% - 40%.
NPP employees had up to 20% salary rise this year. Avg is 360k/mo. There are 1655 workers.
Yesterday a QP MP wrote that a Kocharyan ally, who laid flowers in Spitak city at the request of Kocharyan, had beaten up the MP's friend and threatened the same to MP due to a criticism written by the MP on Facebook.
The suspect Uzunyan, aka businessman Sheko from Gyumri, was questioned yesterday. Today he was arrested and charged with felony hooliganism as part of a group. His accomplice was arrested later.
The MP says the assailant claimed Kocharyan was his uncle.
A Kocharyan supporter and his cameraman earlier chased down the judge who jailed Kocharyan and harassed her. They were jailed.
The Appeals Court judge Rshtuni found that one of the activists doesn't need to remain locked up pre-trial. He was released.
22 Jehovah's Witnesses refused to serve in the military years ago, citing religious reasons. They were taken to court and found guilty for draft dodging in 2012.
They then sued Armenia in ECHR for violating their rights during improper court hearings. ECHR sided with the plaintiff.
Armenia will have to pay 128mln to them.
https://factor.am/206387.html Earlier a letter was leaked by ARF dissident accusing the party leaders of many things.
Assembly of Armenians of Europe released a statement condemning ARF, and more specifically ARF's de-facto leader Hrant Margaryan, for their activities.
ARF's true goals against the govt were exposed. The protests have nothing to do with protecting the Armenian language and history. Hrant Margaryan is waging an anti-state "partisan war" against the govt under the pretense of preserving traditions.
The exposed information, unfortunately, doesn't show anything new. ARF has done this in the past. For example the "Dro case" and "31 case".
ARF joined the anti-Armenian govt of Kocharyan and Serj. Having been given positions of Education Ministry for years, ARF was submerged in corruption.
Hrant Margaryan's name has been tied to terrorism accusations for a long time, specifically in Iranian Nor Jugha and October 27th. (Margaryan was accused by Iranian-Armenians of some terror in Nor Jugha in the 1980s, link below).
After the peaceful revolution, the country is headed to democracy with free elections, the abolishment of fear, free press, with the opposition vastly outnumbering the pro-govt press. It is absurd to go for "partisan blows" and to label Kocharyan as a political prisoner.
Diasporan Armenians can join many other Armenian groups that aren't linked to ARF or any other political party. Any anti-Armenian move will receive a fierce response by the vast majority of diasporans.
(more in the link...)
End of assembly's memo.
Ajapnyak charity foundation's director has been charged with felony embezzlement of 11mln between 2012-2016. He returned the stolen donations.
One thing that is still missing from the Armenian culture is to fully respect and yield the road to ambulance or police cars with a siren.
This year 17 ambulance, 24 police, and 5 firefighter cars got in an accident, partly due to other drivers not yielding the road.
At the moment the penalty for this is 20k ($42).
Numbeo analytical agency says Armenia is the 7th safest country.
Georgia 6th, Azerbaijan 34th.
Numbeo doesn't solely rely on a government's data because "it can be falsified by dishonest politicians and in some countries, crime isn't reported to the police". Instead, the agency has its own methods of calculating safety by looking at the combination of the reported crime, people's perception of safety, etc.
French coffee chain PAUL will enter the Armenian market next year. 5 coffee branches and 200 employees.
Beginning January 1st, if you import $200 worth products weighing less than 31KG from non-EAEU countries, you will not pay taxes on the border.
If you import 40KG, the tax will be paid on the remaining 9KG (40 minus 31).
The frequency of imports by the person and the nature of products will be taken into account by the IRS.
The agency believes this tax change will increase e-commerce among the general population of Armenia.
Former NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan published images taken with Chechen Republic's president Ramzan Kadirov. The latter called to congratulate Vanetsyan on his birthday. They appear to have friendly ties. For this, Vanetsyan received some criticism at home by people who claimed Karidorv isn't someone from whom they would like to receive personal b-day greetings (meeting Kadirov is too controversial).
Vanetsyan has been known for his close ties with the Russian regime. A political analyst says the entire management class at NSS is essentially a detachment of KGB.
The former deputy Defense Minister Shirkhanyan believes their friendship is only of a personal nature, "they met during a law enforcement forum held in Russia."
When Vanetsyan's phone call was mysteriously wiretapped last year, one of the notable takeaways was the lengths he went through to make sure the pro-Russian official Yuri Khachaturov isn't arrested. Vanetysan was concerned about the Russian side's response (Yuri was CSTO military bloc chief).
At the time, Informed Citizens NGO chief Ionessyan circulated a conspiracy theory that it could have been Vanetsyan himself who leaked the audio call to bolster his "future plans" by proving himself as being a pro-Russian figure.
One argument is that the call was wiretapped while Vanetsyan was in Switzerland which would make it harder for anyone else to wiretap, plus the content of the call that was leaked would fit Vanetsyan's pro-Russian image, and not only did Vanetsyan came out dry from the incident but he was "kind of promoted".
"Kocharyan would benefit a lot more if a phone call was leaked between Vanetsyan and some judge. Instead, Vanetsyan's call with SIS chief was leaked, which made Vanetsyan look like a problem solver and a pro-Russian figure", said Informed Citizens NGO chief Daniel Ionesyan earlier this year, adding "I have no fact, these are just logical theories."
A few months ago a Russian arms company ORSIS, managed by the family of a Kremlin oligarch, was allegedly caught selling hunting gear masked as a professional gear, which would place Armenian soldiers' lives at risk if the gear were used on the fronts. That investigation is still ongoing.
At the same time, an investigation was launched to see if a military official illegally sabotaged the sales process.
ORSIS was placed on a blacklist and was unable to do business with the Armenian army again. The Russian govt sent a letter asking the ban to be lifted. The ban was appealed in an Armenian court.
Today the firm says the court removed the firm from the blacklist.
Since the revolution, 81,500 jobs have been created and taken out of the shadow. 6,500 of it was in the past month alone.
The new jobs' average salaries have also increased in the past few months.
As of November:
30% of these jobs earned <150k
As of December:
28.5% < 150k
180bln worth funds were returned by the IRS to businesses.
YoY 106.6 million more sales receipts were printed by business and made visible to IRS. That's 303bln in additional taxable trade.
Large parts of the shadowy economy still remain. There is no excuse for hiding sales from IRS.
We purposely amended the tax code to introduce the term "micro-business" to exempt small businesses (<24mln/year turnover) from business taxes. The argument, that fining small businesses for not printing sales receipts will bankrupt these businesses, is invalid.
Not printing receipts means stealing food from the soldier. Many of the recent reforms were possible due to the additional state revenues collected through the reduction of the shadow economy. Expect more in 2020.
By the way, you might want to be in Yerevan during the New Year's celebrations. This year's program is going to be new and unprecedented.
End of Pashinyan speech.
The following article is inaccurate https://armenpress.am/arm/news/998322.html
Yerevan municipality is hiring Santas and Dzyunanushiks. If you like Hoes, you may apply on December 13th.
Gyumri is preparing for the holidays.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/e8wf20/anticorruption_news_tdlrs_dec102019_economy_jobs/
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