2019 February 4
Anti-Corruption Feb/4/2019: \ Serj \ 2017 Yerevan election fraud verdict \ gov-funded museum chief \ Dodi Gago's cement \ a mayor \ clinic chief returns $ \ Veolia Water \ roads \ healthcare \ more...
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
ArmTimes reports that Serj Sargsyan has been questioned for 5 hours by SIS as part of the March 1st investigation. The agency has not confirmed or denied this.
Felony charges are pressed against the director of Lori-Pambak government-funded geological museum, for embezzlement and abuse of power.
He is accused of falsifying fake employment records of 7 people during 2008-2018, with the intention of stealing their salaries worth 9mln. He also stole 340k from several employees after pressuring them to give him some of their salaries.
He is facing 3 felony charges. 5.7mln has been recovered so far.
Gagik Tsarukyan-tied AraratCement is accused of avoiding 269mln in taxes.
Several executives have allegedly colluded to cook the sales books involving hundreds of millions of Drams, which resulted in unpaid fees to IRS.
Mayor of Verin Artashat is a suspect of abuse of power.
A large restaurant has been operating illegally with the permission and knowledge of the mayor, and it causes problems for nearby residents. The police in investigating.
The director of Polyclinic N16, who was charged with several counts of felony embezzlement and bribery on May of 2018, has returned 16mln of the stolen funds.
The participants of the 2017 Yerevan municipal election voter bribery incident known as Zibilix, which ended with Taron Margaryan being elected as mayor, have been found guilty and given 2.5mln fines for their participation.
11 people will receive fines, including then community head of Arabkir district and the SAS supermarket CEO, for bribing citizens in exchange for voting for HHK.
The suspects had earlier plead guilty and cooperated with the prosecutors.
question for you---------
Do you have a friend or a relative who works at a government sector? Has any of them experienced the same thing as this man?
He says his former bosses used to take the salary bonuses and split between themselves. This year was the first time they, and everyone who worked there, saw an actual cash.
We know for a fact that at least on 2017, Yerevan municipality wrote off over 280mln on bonuses but never published how and where the money was spent. We also know for a fact that soldiers' products used to get stolen (not the Manvel case), and at least one relative I have has seen a difference in the delivery of products in recent times.
now back to our regular programming--------
Water delivery monopoly Veolia Water is expected to pay another fine, this time 10mln, for breaking two parts of the contract. The Public Services Regulatory Commission will hold a session on February 6th.
The Regulatory Commission is also expected to issue a warning to GazProm-Armenia for failing to finish and submit a required report on time.
Residents who frequently travel through land are complaining that the new customs rules that restrict free product transfers to 25KG, is too harsh. They want the limit to be set at 40KG. The IRS asked them to take the issue to the government because they make the rules. A group of traders were outside of the government building today.
The IRS had earlier announced that they've caught businesses avoiding taxes by splitting the inventory in below 50KG pieces between numerous residents, who would then enter Armenia without paying taxes, who would then collect the inventory and give it back to the business representative in Armenia. This way the business didn't have to pay taxes for importing over 50KG worth products.
(I believe the change was set to go into effect as part of EAEU trade bloc rules?)
Others were complaining about municipality's fight against open street trade. The traders were complaining that they can't make ends meets anymore. The municipality had earlier announced an initiative to temporarily subsidy their transfers from the streets to large shopping centers, but not everyone liked the idea. The residents, and the city administration have long complained about the street trading and vowed to regulate it.
Yerevan municipality will soon have a new organization tasked with solving the stray dog issue. They are currently negotiating with animal shelter and veterinary companies for certain services. The dog catching company licensed by the city was caught with embezzlement last year.
Yerevan's revenues have increased by 16% for the month of January, versus same period of 2018.
Kotayk governor will sue a Facebook account owner for allegedly "defaming and spreading misleading information" about him on 68 instances. The governor complains that a defamation campaign was launched against him after the revolution and his subsequent appointment in the office.
The court has granted an arrest warrant for two people, and released former MP Shshi Melo's son from detention, in the case of a deadly fight that took place last week in Abovyan.
Today is world cancer awareness day.
Europa-Donna-Armenia organization will travel across Armenia and Artsakh to provide free cancer screening and educational services.
Ministry of Health recommends to quit smoking, eat more vegetables and exercise daily. They'll provide free cancer screenings in several provinces. Ministry says lung cancer is the most common type in Armenia.
To help combat the measles outbreak in the neighboring Georgia, Armenia will send 30,000 vaccines for free.
Georgian Health Minister says there are 1028 active cases as of now, because the kids who were born in 90s did not get properly vaccinated. The 20-40yr population is currently being actively vaccinated. The daily new cases went from 60 to 35.
Last time Armenia had measles was in 2007, and one instance involving a sick tourist on 2018. The population has a high vaccination rate against the virus.
Health Minister Torosyan's interview to Civilnet. He talks about the universal healthcare. Some notable pieces I caught:
Single payer, managed by the government. The fund will have two sources: The gov issues funds for 1 million people who more or less already receive some aid, while the other 2 million's care is provided through direct paycheck deductions.
Second stage, which will happen later, will include unemployed citizens, retired seniors, kids above 7, students.
Other countries have achieved this system in 20-100 years. The roll-out in Armenia will be slow and gradual.
Initially, money equal to 3% of the paycheck will be deducted. 30% of it will be paid by the worker, and 70% by the employer. (It's subject to change in the next 2 years.)
Single payer non-profit nature will allow to keep the costs down and have enough healthy members to cover the costs for the unhealthy and poor, says Torosyan.
When asked about solving a problem with provincial residents having to come to Yerevan for treatment, Minister said it's normal because in a system like this, all hospitals aren't going to have all specialties and abilities to provide all surgeries. Provincials can have a developed transportation, such as helicopters, to fly some patients to Yerevan.
2021 is the beginning. 1 million will be included through a partial government assistance, and 500,000 others who earn wages (then the rest).
When asked about some emergency employees complaining about work stress (30 visits a day, sometimes 24 hours of no sleep), Minister said it's especially hard in Yerevan. There are many emergency calls which aren't even emergency. The calls will now be rated based on the level of emergency based on the caller's description. They might hire more workers to ease the burden on the existing emergency staff. Emergency visits are free, the government pays to hospital for each visit, so the number of employees should be controlled. The emergency employees will also receive a government-issued health insurance in the near future, as the other department workers do.
In future, the emergency response network will become unified and managed by one entity, most likely by the government. Unified emergency network is better for small countries, says Torosyan. They have caught incidents of local emergency departments registering fake calls so they could get free subsidy cash from the government.
The number of combat deaths in the military is decreasing. Graph: Blue = non combat; Red = combat.
A businessman has decided to establish a crocodile breeding farm in Dashtavan, Ararat Province. He'll buy eggs worth $400 each from various African nations and create a croco-farm, which will be part of a tourist attraction center consisted of 31 various animals.
Russia and Georgia have met and agreed on reforming their border customs, which will provide Armenia a much needed alternative route through Abkhazia and South Ossethia, for trade with Russia. A Swiss company will mediate the flow.
Russian RosAtom has supplied the second turbo-alternator unit to Metsamor nuclear plant. The first one was installed on 2018. The second one will be done by 2021.
This will result in increased efficiency, more production, longer lifespan. The 50 year old generator has been replaced with a new one. Nuke provides 40% of Armenia's electricity.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is interested in investing in Armenia's solar energy sector. The meeting with bank reps is part of Armenia's 2020-2040 vision to reform the energy sector.
Russian internet regulator RoskomNodzor has threatened to block hetq.am website in Russia, unless it removes information about a Russian citizen Ruben Tatulyan. Tatulyan took HETQ to court in Russia on 2017, and the court has just released the verdict in his favor, which RoskomNodzor has to enact.
On 2017, Russian media wrote about Tatulyan was involved with criminal networks run by thieves-in-laws. He was one of the people arrested in Czech Republic at a venue where thieves-in-laws were supposed to gather. The police found Armenian diplomatic passport at his possession.
Hetq wanted to find out how Tatulyan obtained an Armenian diplomatic passport, which was most likely issued by the president Serj Sargsyan due to Tatulyan not holding FM or other Ministry jobs, and wrote an article about it. Tatulyan did not like it and decided to take it down through courts.
Armenian Greco-Roman team wins 4 gold and 2 bronze medals in an international competition in Nice, France.
Armenia's Hovhannes Bachkov has defeated his Mongol opponent in the Europe vs Asian boxing competition between continents' best fighters. Europe won 4:3.
An Armenian farmer leases a land at the border between Armenia and Turkey. Late last year, during a work, he thought the tractor broke down, so he left it in the bordering area and went back home. When he returned, the tractor wasn't there anymore. (kek)
Later, they found it in a Turkish village on the other side of the border. The Turkish border guards have promised to return the tractor once the paperwork is done.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/an7isv/anticorruption_feb42019_serj_2017_yerevan/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|