2019 January 24

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Jan/24/2019: /// Justice Ministry returns 256mln to state /// Government reduces car fleet to cut costs /// Former MP's "Panama Paper" investigation re-opens /// March 1st murder victim families to sue pro-Kocharyan media; Manvel sues another outlet /// Architect // Visa /// Davos //
by ar_david_hh

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


Special Investigation Service (SIS) has re-opened the corruption investigation against Mihran Poghosyan, a former HHK MP and justice official.

His offshore firm activities were leaked by Panama Papers. At the time, the HHK administration closed the investigation concluding nothing illegal was found.



His aide Andranik Isoyan was detained last year, after attacking protesters' cars during the revolution on April 21st. Since then, he has fully paid for the damages, and the victims agreed to apply the 2018 amnesty on him. The criminal charges were dropped.



The government continues to cut its expenditure on staff transportation, as promised last year. PM's cabinet members will have 7 cars with chauffeurs, instead of 50.

The following workers will lose their padavat: Chief of staff of PM, with his secretaries; heads of various departments, with their secretaries; PM's advisers; some of PM's aides.

Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan's office was given 4 cars. They made a decision to keep only 1.




Ministry of Justice and its offices finished the 2018 with 256mln in savings. The sum has been returned to budget.



Micro-businesses will not pay revenue taxes if they earn less than 24mln a year. This proposal is still being refined. The government has clarified the exceptions. The following types of businesses will continue to pay taxes:

Loan businesses, insurance companies, stock market securities companies, companies that buy and sell money, gambling, lawyers offices, ad companies, translators, businesses that have been caught not printing sales receipts (to hide income) for more than twice, workers such as goods traders whose job nature doesn't give a way for IRS to verify the real income. Full list below...



About the massive 550mln social security theft by officials and HayPost staff:

107mln has been recovered so far. Assets belonging to the perpetrators are frozen to recover the rest.



Manvel Grigoryan is suing MaxInfo media outlet for an alleged defamation and false reporting.

The website wrote that on 1991, Azeris broke into an Armenian village and stole cattle from a resident. To recover the damage, a local official and the victim's husband launched a surveillance from the nearby hill, and ended up taking 1,500 sheep from the Azeri side. The village official then allegedly informed military chief Vazgen Sargsyan about it, who then apparently ordered the sheep to be handed to Manvel Grigoryan. A while later, the residents discovered that the 1,500 sheep were sold to Azeris.



The family of victims of March 1st, 2008 murders are willing to sue the recent pro-Kocharyan propaganda documentary makers for "deception and lying", say the family members.

They weren't told that the film was going to be used to defend the man whom the family members believe to be responsible for the murder of their sons. They also claim some facts and they overall opinion was distorted.

One relative says he gave a 30 minute interview to the producers, who then used only a small part to bolster their narrative.

Other relatives have come forward with intention to sue the channel.



1 in 20 residents of Alaverdi - a major mining city - has a malignant cancer. The number has increased 1.3 times between 2011-2017. About 16% of all cancers is breast cancer, 15% is lung/bronchus. 53% of patients are women.

The city's hospital is now equipped with better diagnostics devices, but the residents still don't care about their health, complains the chief doctor about poor early detection.

He wishes the government can allocate more funds for screening and treatment so all patients can receive care. Unfortunately, the breast cancer drugs cost $50,000 per patient and the state can't afford it so they have to opt for less effective ones, says doctor Harutyun Mikaelyan.



Armenia has ranked 45th in the Good Country Index, which takes into account various metrics from international organizations, such as UNESCO.

14th in equality and prosperity, 31st in international peace and security, 51st in health and well-being, 52nd in science an technology, 62nd in planet and environment, 90th in culture, 97th in world order.

Georgia is 39th. Azerbaijan is 108th.

https://www.goodcountryindex.org/results#ARM ------ https://factor.am/118250.html


Parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan has been invited to Iran to discuss further economic cooperation, after meeting with the Iranian ambassador in Armenia.



PM's cabinet is holding a session.

Citizens of Hong Kong have been given the right to visit Armenia for 6 months without a visa approval. "This could help tourism and investments".

In return, Hong Kong has given a 1-month visa free stay for Armenians.


Government waves VAT taxes from R. Zaqaryan Inc. for 3 years to encourage them with jeans clothing factory in Gyumri. It'll invest 1.42bln on products. 58 factory workers with avg. 105k salaries.


Balabekyan Argo company receives a tax waiver to form a 8 hectares high-tech agricultural gardens in Arzakan, Kotayk. 120mln will be invested.



Davos meetings continue.

Pashinyan met with Polish colleague. The latter expressed willingness to improve economic cooperation through the new EU-Armenia cooperation agreement.

Similar talks were held with Swiss, Latvia, Slovakia and Rwandan colleagues. The latter was interested with TUMO tech center. Slovak politician will visit Armenia. He says Slovakia will soon finish the ratification of EU-Armenia agreement.

Singapore rep. has invited Pashinyan to visit Singapore and discuss business. They spoke about exporting alcohol and food from Armenia. Aviation and nature protection projects were also discussed.





Popular Russian TV anchor and journalist Tina Kandelaki gave a shout out to Pashinyan in Armenian. She asked Pashinyan if he was aware that she is half Armenian. Pashinyan responded saying "everyone in Armenia knows that".

Video: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/961925.html


Pashinyan is asked about press-government relations in Armenia. He says there are often public disagreements between the two, and that's normal in any country. "As a former political prisoner and a journalist myself, I can say that the press is more free than ever in Armenia", says Pashinyan.



Armenia will become the first country to purchase 50 brand new Russian AK-12 Kalashnikov rifles. They will be tested, then a decision will be made if more is needed. The Russian army was supplied on 2018.



Russian military base in Armenia begins a large scale training operation. Over 500 machines, 2500 soldiers, helicopters, BUK and S-300 ballistic missiles SAM are used. Hundreds of soldiers and units participate in mountainous operations.



Yerevan chief architect Arthur Meschyan:

170 new construction and 20 destruction permits were given in the past 100 days. 4,200 projects reviewed, 300 projects approved. He says the residents should expect to see a more active construction of residential projects.

Opera building's exterior will have new lighting system. Surrounding areas will have more trees.

New rope-way (chopanughi) will be built, connecting Center with Nor Nork. Italian and Swiss companies are exploring the options. The rope-way's primary purpose will be transportation, and it will carry more passengers that small cabins designed for tourists. He says metro is impossible for Nor Nork.

New metro station will be built in Ajapnyak, connecting it to Center. The second or even the third one may be built later, after they figure out the budget.


http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/153101 ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/961892.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/961891.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/961871.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/961867.html ----


Between June 4-15th, Artsakh Republic will host the European soccer championship of Unrecognized Republics.


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ajh9sl/anticorruption_jan242019_justice_ministry_returns/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports