2019 March 13
Anti-Corruption Mar/13/2019: Zangezur copper factory and admins fined for pollution --- Public official prosecutions for corruption up 29x --- Cafes failed to register hundreds (?) of employees, being shut down for intruding on green zone --- Yerevan has best living conditions in region --more
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Nature Protection Committee has found various violations (improper use of nearby river, excessive pollution, improper storage of waste) by Zangezur copper factory.
The monetary damage is 382mln, which the factory has to pay. Three administrators responsible for the damage have received a 0.5mln fine each.
Prosecutor's office has released 2018 vs 2017 stats about public officials who were investigated and charged with various crimes.
Investigations of public officials suspected of abuse of power and fraud: up 24x.
Felony charges brought against such officials: up 29x.
Abuse of power and embezzlement investigations: up 12x.
Just abuse of power: up 2.5x.
Forgery investigation: up 3.3x
Money laundering busts: up 7x.
Non-high ranking public servant taking bribe charges: up 45x.
After a 3-month prior warning, Yerevan municipality has begun shutting down 3 out of 5 cafes that were, for unknown reasons, given the right to operate on front of the Opera building by the previous administration, specifically in the area that was a green zone meant for trees.
Hayk Marutyan's administration decided to terminate the lease and make the area green again. There are several other cafes near Opera that will continue to operate because they weren't built on the green zone.
The cafe owners were warned on December 13th that they had 1 month to leave. The municipality delayed the process and gave them 2 months, then sent a letter asking them to voluntarily remove the property. After seeing no compliance, the municipality decided to remove the property by themselves, today.
The employees and owners weren't happy, saying 300 people will be left out of job. Municipality staff disputed the number, calling it an exaggeration. After hearing the 300 numbers, the municipality now suspects that the cafe owners could have operated illegally, while hiding hundreds of employees by not registering them in order to avoid taxes.
Municipality looked into it and discovered that one of the cafes only had 1 registered employee for the entire year, including the peak season. Second cafe had 10 employees with 28 at peak, while the third and final cafe that was being removed today had only 2 registered employees at a peak season.
Some of these cafes were renting the area for only AMD 90k/month, despite being located in the best part of the city for foot traffic and tourism. The cafe owners begun chanting anti-Pashinyan slogans during the property removal process, and cut the electricity wires to prevent the municipality workers from using cutting tools.
All the cafes, except for one, are businesses with multiple branches around the city. The municipality will give an alternative location to that single cafe which didn't have any other locations, so they can continue their business.
Municipality spokesman accused one of the cafe owners of illegally pouring concrete on the base of the tree. The cafe owner responded saying it hasn't stopped the tree from existing, and they took good care of the trees on their area.
The city has halted the process and will continue it after negotiating with the cafe owners. They were expecting to operate the locations for at least several more years.
Former oligarch Lfik Samo has voluntarily removed his cafe near Opera, says the municipality. Municipality says some cafes have operated without a license for years.
QP MP Andranik K., a member of a security committee and a Robert Kocharyan critic, is suing media outlet Hraparak for an alleged defamation. The paper published a conspiracy theory linking him to murders during the 1990s, saying that anyone who worked with him or had an affiliation with him ended up being dead.
Hraparak paper says the MP should have sued the individual 3rd party contributor who wrote the article on their website, instead of the website itself.
(Way to throw your contributors under the bus lol)
International consulting organization Mercer has published the list of cities with the best conditions for a living.
Vienna is #1 in the world. Yerevan is 170th, the highest place in the region. Moscow 167, Tbilisi 187, Baku 195, Tehran 199.
Georgian president Zurabishvili has visited Armenia, Tsitsernakaberd, TUMO. Said the latter can be a good addition to Georgian education system.
Armenian youth weight-lifters won silver and bronze in world championship held in Las Vegas https://armenpress.am/arm/news/967305.html
Ethnic tensions between Chechens and Azeris continues in Moscow. Several people participated in the latest fight. Last month, over 100 Chechens and Azeris caused a mass brawl after an incident involving kidnapping and humiliation of a person on camera. Azeri ambassador met a Chechen-Russian congressman with an attempt to calm the situation. An Armenian man was incorrectly blamed for the incident by the Azeri sources.
Armenian peacekeepers have returned from Afghanistan.
Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b0smrb/anticorruption_mar132019_zangezur_copper_factory/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|