2020 June 10

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/10/2020 News: (1) Գյուլնազ տատի (2) $22mln bribery (3) Deadly mining incident (4) Nikol fake anti-Russian? (5) World record set (6) Yerevan budget could spike (7) New cancer tech (8) COVID (9) Draper Uni. (10) Global Peace Index (11) IRS meets Tech Giants (12) Frunzik (13) Sports (14) Lake Sevan
by ar_david_hh


fugitive prince is found and apprehended

In Sep/2019 the Yerevan Zoo reported a missing kakadoo parrot.

The parrot was located in March. An operation was launched to capture it. Yesterday the police helped the zoo to catch and return the bastard.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189907

Tales of Gyulnaz tati & Grandpa's gold

BHK chief Dodi Gago's right-hand man Sedrak Arustamyan was arrested months ago and charged with paying $22mln in bribes to HHK IRS chief, so Dodi Gago's businesses would avoid legal problems. (This is the case involving UCOM shareholder).

Arustamyan finally agreed to answer investigators' questions. He said his grandpa was a Soviet soldier when the Soviets invaded Iran in 1941. Grandpa brought with him lots of gold from Iran. In 1987 Gyulnaz tati inherited the gold to him.

As for the reason why he gave the $22mln to ex-IRS chief's family, he pretends it was a loan but the borrower hasn't been able to repay yet.

Arustamyan lost the appeal to walk free pre-trial.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189903

ex-IRS chief Gagik Khachatryan...

... allegedly took $22mln in bribes from Dodi Gago's people to close the eye on Dodi Gago's businesses' legal problems.

Besides this, Khachatryan is charged with other financial crimes. His UCOM-owner sons are co-defendants.

Prosecutors say 4 of Khachatryan's relatives and 3 other former officials are involved as suspects.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189877

Manvel Grigoryan

... was rushed to the emergency room in an unconscious state yesterday. His heartbeat dropped to 40bpm. The doctors say he's stable-serious now.

Context: Disgraced general Manvel Grigoryan was jailed and charged with stealing army property and tax evasion.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189874

Pashinyan the fake "anti-Russian"

CivilNet reports:

There is a myth peddled by some circles in Armenia and Russia that Pashinyan is anti-Russia. This is the same thing that happened to 1st president LTP.

LTP and his HHsH nationalist movement were labeled anti-Russian by people who didn't want Armenia to be independent. They said LTP's govt will lead to the rise of PanTurkism.

Just as in 19990s, today Armenia has to remind Russia what its interests are in the region.

The 2018 revolution wasn't welcomed in Russia. HHK was actively lobbying in Russia to present it as pro-Western and anti-Russian revolution. It took time for Pashinyan administration to convince Russia that that wasn't the case, even though they already knew it. Syrian envoy is one example of why Pashinyan isn't anti-Russian.

Full: https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/06/10/Նիկոլ-Փաշինյանի-հակառուս-լինելու-առասպելը/387012

Q&A in Parliament / Agriculture / Elevators / Gas

Opposition MP: residents of southern Armenia get their gas from Iran, which has a lower calory, which means they burn/spend more to get the same energy. Shouldn't we charge them less per m3?

Minister: we need progressive brackets for different groups. When the Utilities commission finishes the negotiations with Gazprom they'll address the issues.

--

Opposition MP: farmers get very little aid after a natural disaster. The aid arrives late because of govt's beurocratic runaround.

Minister: insurance policy is the long-term solution here. We implemented it, and expanded the list of covered products. We subsidize 50-60% of insurance. The system is new and the # of recipients is still small... Settlements routinely ask govt for a subsidy to install anti-hail stations. We fund 2/3rd of the cost.

--

Opposition MP: what's the status for elevators, public transport, lighting?

Minister: 2 contracts signed for street lighting...

The underground water drainage tunnel revamp is taking a long time because the finances come from abroad, and we couldn't blow up certain rocks due to nearby residential complaints, so we chose a more expensive alternative method that halted the progress...

Elevators are being replaced. 500 units will arrive soon. 5bln budget for now...

We're getting 100 buses soon to replace private companies that chose to quit. These 100 buses will later join the main public transport revamp...

https://factor.am/258359.html ; https://factor.am/258373.html ; https://factor.am/258419.html

second Kawasaki case

The second small kid with COVID was diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome. The meds helped to stabilize his serious condition.

Hundreds of cases were earlier recorded in Europe and the U.S., which promoted Armenian officials to get ready by purchasing meds.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189901

PET scanner ready

Healthcare Minister Torosyan: after 10 years of waiting, we did the first PET/HT scan today. Cancer patients will be examined with FDG-18 isotope without the need to travel elsewhere. A big day for Armenian healthcare.

https://www.lragir.am/2020/06/10/554410/

COVID stats

+428 infected. +775 healed. +10 deaths.

8573 active. 5226 healed. 227 deaths. 73156 tested.

--

Pashinyan: we're seeing signs of stabilization.

NGO chief: the daily 1.2k tests are too little, we need 6k to get a bigger picture.

Political analyst: opposition parties who weaponize the COVID against govt daily are shooting themselves in the foot... Nonetheless, govt must take steps towards unity. President Sarkissian invited former and current officials yesterday.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189868 ; https://factor.am/258386.html ; https://factor.am/258395.html ; https://factor.am/258492.html

COVID enforcement

1,800 residents were given $20 tickets for not wearing a mask. That's between 00:00 - 15:00 alone. "Most people follow safety," noted Pashinyan. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189921

--

Pashinyan posted a photo of a packed marshutka to warn against overcrowding. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189913

--

Tashir mall and 3 restaurants were shut down for violating safety about distancing and disinfection. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189905 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189926

ex-municipality official unhinged

Ex-city councilwoman Sona Aghekyan, who has a record of fighting vaccinations, refuses to wear a mask. She was fined twice today.

While the cop was writing the ticket, another cop was using a loudspeaker to tell the public to follow safety.

Aghekyan responded, "At least use a man who doesn't have a fagt's voice. Let a real Armenian man speak. Is the govt training our ears to get used to fagts?"

https://youtu.be/kWEC_JbGEVU

Draper University

In 2019 the govt decided to send Armenian entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley's Draper University. A competition/interview was held by the High Tech Ministry.

122 participated. 20 were picked for a pitch. These 5 ideas were chosen as winners: Zoomerang, Jarviz, Magic Cup, eBin, GebeCert.

Nowadays these Draper classes are online otherwise they'd be sent to California.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189863

Meghradzor mine incident

There is an abandoned gold mine in Meghradzor, in central Armenia west of Lake Sevan.

3 men died last night after entering it with "self-made equipment" to extract rocks.

An alarm was raised after they didn't return. The emergency department and 6 other miners were on the scene. The 6 miners decided to enter and extract their colleagues; they also got poisoned but survived.

Authorities are investigating whether safety laws were breached by the miner.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189878

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189880

Imports in Q1

Earlier we learned about the changes in the size of exports for 2020Q1 vs 2019Q1.

Now the imports:

Russia +8%, China -16%, Iran -12%, Turkey -17%, Germany -27%, Ukraine +19%, Iraly -10%, France +16%, Goergia -7%, Belarus +12%.

--

Prepared food imports $119mln (+21%)

Raw mining products $261mln (+3.2%).

Imported cars $217mln (-11%).

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118126

IRS held talks with Tech Giants

IRS wants solutions to tax online trade. It's about having the tech giants to include the VAT in the service price, then pay it to govt the easiest way possible, without involving the buyer.

Today IRS held a video call with representatives from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Booking.com, Netflix, Amazon. etc.

IRS will submit a draft law soon.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189894

Property tax reform could boost Yerevan budget

If the bill is approved, everybody will pay some property tax, even if a few dollars per year. The more expensive the building, the higher the tax rate.

Yerevan could collect an extra 50bln/year. That's 10 times more than what's spent on garbage collection.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017980.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015003.html

This is Lori Fortress and its surrounding nature

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/06/10/Լոռի-բերդը․-ֆոտոշարք/387064

Global Peace Index

It measures internal and external factors. Azerbaijan and Armenia made the biggest peace progress because they haven't fought since 2016.

1) Usual suspects

71) Moldova (-3)

95) Georgia (+4)

99) Armenia (+15, second biggest)

120) Azerbaijan (+12, biggest)

154) Russia (+0)

163) Afghanistan (+0)

--

Armenia ranked 6th in EAEU bloc.

The political system is more stable than before, but govt's pressure on others has increased, which negatively affected the "internal peace" .

The report noted that Armenia's prison population -35%. Lowest incarceration in EAEU.

http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2020/06/GPI_2020_web.pdf

https://factor.am/258509.html

update: Aronyan in semi-finals

Grandmaster Levon Aronyan defeated Russia's Grischuk 10:8 and advanced to St. Louis's CLUTCH tournament's semi-final, where he'll lose to Magnus Carlsen.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017968.html

tree thief is caught

Some gyamsh has been stealing newly planted trees in Yerevan.

He snatched 8 "thuja" trees near Sasuntsi David statue's garden in March. Days later he returned for more loot but was spotted by the police.

The 33yo suspect is charged with 2 felonies. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189871

Forest protection agency

Hayantar is a govt-funded institute. It's tasked with managing and protecting forests. Many of its agents were caught as illegal loggers since 2018.

Tavush Governor Chobanyan: we need to fire everyone and start from zero. Too many workers have ties to illegal loggers, dating back to their coordinated activities under the former regime... Soon the forest recovery efforts will gain new momentum.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189889

Lake Sevan and Gegharquniq nature

Gegharguniq Governor Gnel: we 1.5x the number of locations where we clean up trash. This will reduce pollution traveling from settlements to Lake Sevan.

By 2021 Gegharquniq's trash will be entirely directed away with more settlements joining the cleanups.

Fishing should be regulated, but villages that traditionally relied on it should be allowed to fish.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189902

Tourism is booming already?

Tavush Governor Chobanyan:

Our province produces 10mln maks per day. Upcoming investments will double it.

During May 28th's 4-day-long holiday period, we had as many tourists as we get during peak Summer. Internal tourism has grown. The companies are told to follow safety so people can get fresh air in nature.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189893

Justice for Frunzik

Today Gyumri municipality voted to give legendary Gyumi-born actor Mher Mkrtchyan the title of "Honorary citizen of Gyumri".

Mayor Balasanyan: I'm surprised he wasn't given the title sooner. (I don't know man, you've been a mayor since 2012?)

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189936

Madlad beats Bruce Lee's world record

Manvel Mamoyan beat Bruce Lee's record and was added to Guinness Records Book.

He did 55 pushups in 1 minute, with 2 fingers of 1 hand.

Mamoyan lives in Russia and says he gets lots of online hate from Azeri and Turkish users (welcome to internet), but he views the negative comments as an extra hype around his name.

He's been trying to do this for several years, but always fell short 2 pushups.

https://factor.am/258291.html


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/h0i1hn/jun102020_news_1_%D5%A3%D5%B5%D5%B8%D6%82%D5%AC%D5%B6%D5%A1%D5%A6_%D5%BF%D5%A1%D5%BF%D5%AB_2_22mln_bribery_3/

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. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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