2019 March 26
Anti-Corruption Mar/26/2019 --- SOC publishes findings in hospital dialysis contract abuse case --- BOGO case: former parking director charged --- School director arrested for bribery --- Minimum pension --- Debating: 1.5 year military service for some ---
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
The State Oversight Committee has published the findings of the audit of dialysis equipment business in Armenia. They have released the report, saying that on December-26-2018, they contacted the Health Ministry and various governors' offices, and presented them information about various violations during the equipment purchases.
SOC: Dialysis equipment was imported by 8 companies between 2015-2018. Two of these companies (Frezen and Natali) had 83% of the market share. Out of 9 government-run hospitals which purchased the equipment, Frezen was exclusively delivering it to 3, and Natali to 6.
Examining St. Gregory Illuminator hospital purchases revealed that laws were violated. 1) The hospital changed the contract language to remove the clause that required a certain "experience" by the deliverer. 2) Hospital changed the contract to remove the requirement by the Frezen to repair the equipment, and made the contract only about purchasing an equipment. 3) Only Frezen was given the right to compete for the contract auction, because the hospital described the equipment requirements specifically in a way that could only be met by Frezen.
After SOC confronted the hospital about this, the latter accepted the complaints and allowed other companies to compete for the contract. As a result, several other companies won some of the contracts. Frezen also won some contracts, but this time they sold the equipment for 12mln cheaper because of the new competition, says SOC. (SOC says Zorashen Inc., the company implicated in an NSS case which involved 2 dishonest SOC employees, was not one of the winners of these contracts, and that this is a different case.)
Similar suggestions to improve the contracts were made to Vanadzor Hospital, but it refused to accept them, thus only allowing Frezen to compete, which resulted in Vanadzor paying 30% more for the same equipment paid by St. Gregory.
SOC says Frezen sells the equipment to the hospitals at 2.2x higher price than the regular market value.
Reminder: Earlier we learned that Health Ministry was concerned that SOC's investigation could halt the purchases of dialysis equipment and place patients at risk. Health Minister contacted NSS to investigate. NSS found that 2 of the SOC employees allegedly overstepped their boundaries and helped another company win one of the contracts. That investigation continues.
Update: Bogo the thieve, who illegally occupied an area in Central Parking station and charged fees from drivers, per police report, had a conflict with the new director of the Parking center. The director's car was later burned down by unknown people.
The police has found the arsonist, who admitted the crime. He is told not to leave the country. The investigation continues and we don't know the details on his motive yet, or whether he is related to Bogo or not.
The police investigation also revealed that the 2012-2018 director of the Central Parking station made illegal renting deals with Bogo, which resulted in 43mln in damages, and an additional 22mln being stolen from the budget. 7mln in damages were done by illegally giving 6 rooms to Bogo. Felony charges are pressed against the director.
Serj family-linked SPAYKA import-export company was earlier caught underpaying 2bln in taxes between 2015-2018. The company chief says they have repaid all the money, and have voluntarily asked the IRS to audit their company every year from now on. The director doesn't know why the company wasn't audited for 4 years. 🤔
SPAYKA has finished the $15mln investments plan. The new factory will produce 20mln Liters of milk and various types of cheese. 120 new jobs created. The second investment will begin soon and will involve $30mln, and Swiss cheese production.
Former police chief Hayk Harutyunyan has been questioned as a witness in the March 1st 2008 case.
The police has arrested the director and and pressed charges against the secretary of School 27 of Gyumri. They face bribery and abuse of power charges.
To make the management of large companies transparent, the Ministry of Development has proposed limiting how many stocks (and influence) a subsidiary company can buy from the parent company. They also want to make tax laws simpler for small businesses. This could prevent Gazprom-Armenia from buying "too many" stocks from Gazprom-Russia.
Deputy Parliament speaker says they'll establish minimum pension and raise it for the seniors who have little or no recorded job seniority. The project will cost 800mln/year. Opposition says people who have worked for several years would receive the same pension as those who have never worked in their lifetime. Parliament speaker responds saying the minimum pension is necessary because the elderly shouldn't be left to starve just because they worked less.
Soldiers' Insurance Fund, which is filled by special taxes and donations, has rose by 35% on 2018 vs 2017. The balance is currently 8.3bln. The government increased its "donation" to the fund by 5x on 2018. The support provided to the families of soldiers rose by 30%.
Earlier we learned that the Defense Ministry is discussing changing the mandatory conscript service time from 2 years to something else. They are currently discussing the possibility of removing the lottery system which currently picks where the new recruits are going to serve, and instead, send all healthy recruits to the frontlines and keep the non-healthy ones in "easier" locations. The frontlines soldiers could serve 1.5 years (down from 2 years), while the non-frontlines could serve more than 2 years.
(All of a sudden people stop paying bribes to claim they have health issues 🤔)
Armenian army near Berdavan has opened fire towards the Azeri positions and stopped their engineering works that were meant to move the contact lines closer to the Armenian border. Azeris were verbally warned, to which they responded with opening a fire towards Armenia, before being silenced.
In an unrelated incident, an Azeri soldier was killed in Fizuli, Artsakh yesterday.
Azeri opposition outlet investigates and founds Ilham Aliyev's properties in one of the most luxurious regions in Russia, called Meyendorff Gardens 10KM away from Moscow.
Witnesses say all residents in the Gardens are "hot shots" with tinted windows, guarded by security teams. Aliyev has 2 mansions there.
One of the properties, valued approximately $35 million, is 7,200 square meters and is registered under his 22yo son Heydar Aliyev Jr. The kid got it as a gift from his maternal grandmother Arif Pashayev (Pashayevs are the 2nd biggest mafia clan behind Aliyevs. The two are "married" to one another. First lady is Pashayeva).
The second property is owned by Ilham's daughter Leyla (the duckface selfie chick).
The investigators have also found similar mansions in other countries.
https://www.meydan.tv/en/article/the-aliyevs-nest-the-family-of-azerbaijans-president-has-found-a-home-near-moscow/?ref=homepage-headline ----- www.civilnet.am/news/2019/03/26/Հետաքննող-լրագրողները-գտել-են-Ալիևների-մոսկովյան-կալվածքները/357306
Kocharyan critic and former General Prosecutor Gagik Jhangiryan explains October 27 terrorist Nairi Hunanyan's and NSS (National Security Services) relations.
He says Hunanyan was monitored by the security agencies as early as on 1988. He was a candidate for an informant. NSS wanted to use him to catch or gather info on foreign agents. No word whether Hunanyan was eventually chosen.
Jhangiryan says October 27th was made possible because of a gross negligence by a high ranking official at NSS, who received information about Hunanyan threatening to shoot up the Parliament, but failed to act to properly investigate the threat.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b5vybj/anticorruption_mar262019_soc_publishes_findings/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|