2019 January 25
Anti-Corruption Jan/25/2019: \\ Police busts 394mln theft in its ranks \\ Justice Ministry investigating if Yerevan must publish names \\ Armenian Youth Foundation chief charged with 326mln theft \\ Gov-run hospital director and 2 others face felony charges \\ Ministry workers \\ Monopolies \\ More.
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
The Center for Information Transparency, a branch of Justice Ministry, has asked the Justice Ministry to launch a formal investigation to find out whether Yerevan municipality must release the names of 1,600 workers who received salary bonuses.
Earlier it was reported that the law prohibits the release of such information. Some have pointed out that there are transparency laws that make an exception to this data privacy law, requiring the names to be published.
The Justice Ministry is still investigating the case and will publish the results later.
Over 1,600 Yerevan workers received a salary bonuses as regulated by the law.
The police continues to clean up its ranks from corruption. Various officials are accused of stealing 394mln, from which 144mln has already been recovered. The case has been referred to Special Investigation Service (SIS) because an abuse of power was committed by officials.
Director of Armenian Youth Foundation Karen Avagyan is charged with money laundering and embezzlement of 326mln funds.
One of the board of directors members came forward last year and notified the SIS that the director signed a 326mln contract with himself. The investigation has found that the director embezzled funds between 2010-2018 through laundering it with bank accounts belonging to his family members, foreign banks, and other contracts.
The authorities are seeking an arrest warrant (Update: court approved it). He is facing two felony charges. The investigation continues.
SIS has pressed felony corruption charges against 3 officials working at National Center for Tuberculosis Control, a government-funded medical organization.
The director and the deputy director are accused of stealing funds between 2014-2018 through the means of falsifying the documents about product purchases. They also used their powers to threaten subordinates to sign the papers confirming the illegal transactions, under the threat of employment termination.
A company that was illegally granted the right to treat patients with tuberculosis ended up charging the patients AMD 5k for treatment, while the treatment's real cost is 1.2k.
111mln in damages was done to the state.
3.3mln was stolen after the director illegally instructed the secretary to transfer the funds to 40 of the employees working at the medical contractor company. One of the secretaries transferred 53mln to his personal account between 2014-2018.
Several other contracting laws were broken, which resulted in damages to the state.
The information was uncovered by Health Minister Torosyan during audits, who submitted the findings to the police, who then referred it to SIS.
The director has been arrested. The deputy director and the secretary are asked not to leave the country.
Ministry of Emergency has notified the prosecutors about an embezzlement during an airport construction in Stepanavan.
On 2014, Ministry of Emergency and a Company signed a contract to do construction for the airport and nearby areas. The contract stated that the job should have been done with the resources and equipment belonging to the Company.
Ministry workers ignored the contract, abused their power, and gave the Company an additional materials worth 255mln. The Company used 147mln worth products and returned the rest. An audit has revealed that out of the returned products, 7.5mln worth materials went missing.
There are two felony charges. The SIS is continuing the investigation.
State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition has discovered cases in which large supermarkets have abused their dominant powers to demand the suppliers and smaller competitors to increase prices to match the one in large supermarkets.
Large players are also placing a pressure against "non-compliant" suppliers by making late payments or purposely selling more items from other suppliers through various means, thus punishing the non-compliant suppliers.
Large suppliers themselves are sometimes guilty of anti-competitive practices too, says the Commission. They pressure markets to provide free advertisement for new products, and sometimes require markets to purchase more than needed, under the threat of cutting all supplies and placing the market in a disadvantage against the competitor.
The Commission has issued a warning to 150 businesses (including Yerevan Citi, SAS, Evrika, Nor Zovq, Parma), and will take a harsher action if it's repeated. They have submitted ideas around legal solutions to the government.
Pashinyan's Davos meeting wrapped up in 5 minutes
A QP MP lists the country's achievements since they came to power.
Tourism up 8.8%
Mortgage loan % down 1.5%.
Aid for having the second child has been tripled.
Agricultural exports up 61%.
11,000 doctors salary set to rise.
Gavar has 600 new factory jobs.
Minimum pension amount up 60%.
Seniors are given free access to cultural events to improve the social life.
38,000 employees moved out of grey economy to pay taxes.
End of economic monopolies (no forced monopolies by higher ups)
End of systemic corruption.
Investigative bodies can work freely.
Oligarchs don't influence the government decisions.
Heart surgery cost cut by 250,000.
200,000 citizens can receive free healthcare services since 2019.
85,000 citizens receive higher financial aid and pensions since January 1st.
Record tax revenue in the past 20 years.
Passenger traffic up 12.2%.
Talks finalized and signed to build a 250MW thermo-plant in Yerevan, creating thousands of jobs, and 230 permanent.
$13.5mln investment from US DISCO company.
DISCO opens a branch with 50 employees.
Gas prices down 20 AMD, electricity down 10 AMD for low income residents.
New apartments worth 22bln have been purchased.
The police forces help to defend the nation. (not sure if this is new?)
7bln invested in provinces for various projects. Some have already begun.
Calmer borders with Azerbaijan.
Cultural buildings (like Zvartnots's old bldng) have a legal protection.
350,000 students given 3 free tickets every year to cultural and historical museums.
$200,000 invested in a creation of a joint research project between universities and researchers.
Road work results exceeded the expectations by 60%.
More direct communication between Pashinyan and Aliyev.
The government is pressuring to involve Artsakh representatives in the negotiations.
487mln aid to various provinces to recover hail damage.
150,000 citizens had their long-standing traffic tickets pardoned. 13bln debt canceled.
End the practice of political prisoners.
125,000 citizens' loans pardoned. They are moved from blacklist to whitelist.
New families can get apartments for record low interest rates.
209,000 citizens had a salary raise.
200,000 citizens to have their salaries rise on 2019.
50 artists to cooperate with 1400 schools to provide lessons.
15mln for Armash village's water repair.
Nairit factory workers continuing to receive their unpaid salaries.
Prison condition improvements. More visits by relatives. Detention closer to house. 60k AMD product purchase permission.
Government buildings have opened their doors for public.
PM Pashinyan met Russian PM Dmitri Medvedev and the representatives of Russian VTB bank.
The latter discussed the possibility of financing certain projects in Armenia. For example, last year a large copper factory in Teghut was shut down due to financial problems. Tigran Avinyan then announced that they are working on re-opening it. Pashinyan now hopes that the problem will be solved by the end of 2019.
9 family members of the victims of March 1st murders have signed a petition condemning the misleading March 1st film by H5 (Ararat TV, pro-Kocharyan network). They are asking the other media networks to show respect to the victims and not to spread the film.
40% of all agricultural land, around 200,000 hectares, is left unused by the land owners. There is a law that allows the government to seize such land if it's unused for 3 years, but it's extreme and isn't being used in practice.
The government is working on a law to help local authorities to help land owners to put their land for lease so someone with business plans can utilize it.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ajtcpi/anticorruption_jan252019_police_busts_394mln/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|