2019 September 26
Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Sep/26/2019 :: Ministry workers; policeman; school directors busted :: Embezzled hotel recovered as state asset :: $21mln aid from Russia - $2mln from EU :: New border road - Army - Azeri drone :: Free trade w/Singapore :: Salaries up :: Tax waivers - Investments
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise.
Former Serj aide and Justice Ministry official Gevorg Kostanyan has been summoned to appear to SIS. Yesterday they released a lengthy March 1st report stating that Kostanyan served as the former regime's handler to commit falsifications with others to cover up the illegal military involvement.
SIS doesn't say whether Kostanyan will be questioned as a witness or a suspect. Kostanyan denied wrongdoing, saying he'll return to Armenia in 20 days. Read yesterday's post for more details.
(either rat, or get the best lawyer you can, bud 👌)
NSS busted a social security agency employee with taking a bribe in exchange for falsifying a recipient's record to increase aid. Felony case is launched.
Investigative Committee busted the director of school #192 with a 1.1mln embezzlement in 2013-2015. Felony case for employee record falsification.
IRS, which handles customs duties at the border, has busted a police official with aiding narcotics imports from Iran. A aitizen imported drugs after receiving an insider advice from the officer on how to evade a detection by the authorities. A felony case is launched.
Prosecutors have launched a felony case against employees of an institute run by Ministry of Education for a 2.6mln embezzlement between 2014-2017.
Update: the prosecutors sent former SOC boss Davit Sanasaryan's case to the court. They rejected his petition to drop the case.
Two rank-and-file SOC employees are accused of sponsoring a firm through forcing hospitals to alter contracts in a way to allow their favorite firm to win the contracts. Sanasaryan himself is accused of knowingly closing the eye on the employees' illegal conduct.
Update: Rob's favorite Golden Palace hotel has officially been transferred as a state asset. It was officially owned by the former IRS chief Armen Avetisyan, who registered an offshore firm Golden Group Limited, which officially owned the hotel in Tsakhkadzor.
The hotel's transfer begun last year after the revolution. Its market value is 7.8bln.
Day 3 of army training. The military is transporting heavy equipment through railways. Army chemical response team has identified contaminated areas for cleanup. More army units were deployed.
The Israeli-made ORBITER drone that what shut down yesterday in Artsakh's Akna region, was worth almost $1 million.
They 80km at a 6km altitude, and can carry a 1.5km load. These are mainly used for surveillance.
Video of the moment it was shot down https://youtu.be/4xwKTrI98yc
A new bypass-road is being built near Voskepar-Baghanis border villages of Armenia. The current road is too close to the border; Azeris have a record of shooting that area. The new road provides a safe path to Noyemberyan. The roadside barriers help to protect it. It'll be ready this November.
Pashinyan spoke during the UN General Assembly meeting. Snippets:
About democratic progress in Armenia, response by transparency agencies, how the former corrupt regime uses its money to try to avoid justice, no illegal business takeovers, the fake news in Armenia, strong economic performance, no geopolitical context in the revolution, Armenia is a proof that democratic changes are possible in modern age, now the goal is to make the change permanent in Armenia through reforms, a new anti corruption institute being prepared, make education available for everyone, international community will hopefully support Armenia, we should avoid mistakes made by other new democracies, Armenia has 2 hostile neighbors, geopolitical problem in the region doesn't make it better and Armenia got caught up in between (Iran - US) , Armenia tries to have a balanced approach, Artsakh solution should be built on compromise and acceptable by AM-AR-AZ but AZ wants everything, Aliyev has no desire to solve this conflict, they want revenge for the failed invasion attempt in 1990s and 2016, Armenophobia is preached at a state level in AZ, AR got its independence same way as AZ got its from USSR, AZ's attempt to invade AR is similar to the idea of restoring USSR, we don't agree with AZ's claims that this is a conflict between AM and AZ, this isn't a territorial problem but a question of people living in their homeland, AZ still refuses to talk to AR they just want lands without the people, we urge Aliyev to accept the offer to work on a plan that's acceptable for AZ-AM-AR, Armenia suffers from climate change the temps are 1.3c higher than before, we're working on nature programs with UN, etc.
Cumbria University speech https://youtu.be/KVy3VfJqctU
Amulsar miner Lydian-Armenia is suing BHK MP Hrant Bagratyan for an alleged defamation.
MP thinks it could be because during a gathering in Jermuk he said that the previous govt gave illegal mining licenses through bribery, and that Lydian might have interpreted it being directed towards them. Lydian didn't comment.
Asian Development Bank predicts a 4.8% economic growth by the end of the year, up from 4.3%. It was expected that 1H19 would perform better than 2H. Next year it's predicted to be 4.5%.
EU will spend €2.2mln on anti-corruption and judicial reforms in Armenia. Two programs until 2021.
Russia will give a $20mln gift to Armenia as part of UN aid, says the Russian embassy. $18mln will be spent on food for school kids, and another $2.8mln on economic development in bordering regions.
Govt approved a EAEU plan to establish free trade with Singapore.
5k out of 12k products will have 0% tariff immediately. Thousands more will become 0% over time. 1.5k products will remain taxed by EAEU states,
Singapore has agreed to immediately remove the import tax on all products on their end. This will go into effect when more papers are signed soon.
Temporary tax waivers for investors.
GLORIA textile fabric is investing 3bln on tech and raw materials. 250 new jobs. Most products to be exported.
La Solar firm is given a place in the free economic zone to continue their solar panel business. 2.6bln investment. 15 new jobs with 300k salary. 7bln/year production 75% of which to be exported to US.
Moeff Group will invest 14bln to produce some appliances. 150 new jobs (currently 30 workers). 265k salary.
Govt will make car import paperwork simpler by removing the necessity to bring certain documents, and by allowing to do certain things without appearing to a registration center. They expect the lengthy lines to disappear once implemented. Details inside...
Govt approved the plan to raise the Ministry of Emergency staff salary by 30-40%. The Minister has long complained that the rescuers aren't getting paid fair wages. It'll cost 1.9bln/year.
Approved: 600 Forest protection agency workers will receive a >20% salary raise beginning October 1st.
QP MPs earlier proposed a bill to raise the minimum wage from 55k to 63k. The govt suggested 68k instead. Today the Parliamentary committee approved govt's version of the draft bill. It'll be placed on the floor for discussions.
Swiss are helping Armenia to de-centralize public services agencies by transferring some of the offices to provinces, says Minister of Infrastructure.
A 109KG big lad weightlifter Simon Martirosyan is the world champion. He beat the opponents in both halves: lifting and pushing. He lifted 429KG, which is a world record. He scored two world records in one day.
This bloke is such a massive unit that he begun competing when others had already finished lifting their best.
Few days ago 89KG Hakob Mkrtchyan became the champion.
The world's largest 65 meter long gata given away in Armenia
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/d9ocu2/anticorruption_news_summary_sep262019_ministry/
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