2020 June 2

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/2/2020 News: (1) Fugitive Prince's assets frozen; Sale of media outlets, hotels (2) Pashinyan promises curfew if... (3) Armenian airlines sanctioned (4) Gago's director charged (5) COVID update (6) Agricultural loot crates (7) Lake Sevan algae & fish (8) Ethnic minorities (9) Garabed Gospel
by ar_david_hh

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.


Fugitive prince's money-empire under arrest / Popular news outlets impacted

Serj's (aka King) son-in-law and chief media propagandist Mikael Minasyan's (aka Prince) assets were earlier frozen after he was charged with money laundering and financial crimes. This is what the report says:

Dzoraget Hydro

Pashinyan administration launched a felony investigation to find out how this "strategically important" military hydro-plant was privatized and allegedly embezzled by the King and his servants for 4x below the market value. Ex-Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan is implicated.

Currently, hydro's sole shareholder is another firm, whose sole shareholder is Russia-based businessman Samvel Karapetyan.

But before Karapetyan got the shares in 2016, two peasants owned 19% and 11% shares. Both peasants are servants of our Prince.

The third peasant was an offshore firm "VOD Group" registered in Luxemburg.

Opera Suite Hotel

Founded in 2015, Yerevan's "Opera Suite" hotel is owned by "Office Class" firm. The King personally went to the tape-cutting ceremony.

One of the directors of this hotel is Prince's peasant who owned 19% of the aforementioned hydro plant.

This hotel's 50% belongs to an offshore firm in the Virgin Islands, 25% to Russia-based media-man Arthur Janibekyan. Another smaller shareholder is our Prince's 4th peasant.

NSS is investigating the transactions between shareholders. Some assets are frozen.

Hilton franchise hotel

Armenia-based firm Velofirma owns a trademark license to run a Hilton hotel in Yerevan.

One of the shareholders is our Prince's 4th peasant, who is also a director in the aforementioned hotel.

SPAYKA import-export giant

Sole shareholder Davit Khazaryan's 6bln worth shares have been frozen; he himself was arrested for SPAYKA's tax evasion recently.

But before he became the sole shareholder, 49% of shares belonged to Prince's 5th peasant who originates from Prince's brother's circles.

Jazzve cafe-restaurant

Yup, that one is also under arrest. Our Prince was the sole hustler between 2003-2011. Then he decided to transfer 100% shares to a firm in the Virgin Islands.

The shares were transferred again in 2018. Today, Russia-based media-man Arthur Janibekyan owns 85%, and 5% belong to none other than our 1st Peasant (19% hydro shareholder and hotel director).

Media empire shares

PanArmenian Media Group was the largest media org. It was a conglomerate of several news organizations co-owned by Roboserj.

In 2019, its outlets ArmNews, tert.am, and Lav Radio went under the control of HHK MP Samvel Farmanyan.

Another of Minasyan's outlets Armenia TV went to Russia-based media-man Arthur Janibekyan. These shares are also arrested at the moment.

news.am is not allowed to sell/buy shares either because it's assets/transactions are also under investigation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189277

https://www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/06/02/Միքայել-Մինասյանի-հետ-կապված-բիզնեսների-բաժնեմասերը՝-կալանքի-տակ/251099

update: Armenia-based airlines blacklisted

Context: You may remember how Armenian Civil Aviation found itself in hot water last year after its employees colluded with an airline company to hide "unfavorable" documents from Aviation chief Revazyan, which led to regulatory problems for Aviation and felony investigation. And how Armenian airlines were implicated in weapon smuggling in Africa that took place years ago. And how Armenian Aviation lacks connections with African colleagues to do safety checks of Armenian jets located in Africa, etc.

--

The EU has finalized the process of blacklisting 6 airline companies registered by Armenia for 1 year.

To fly to the EU, the airlines will either have to correct their mistakes - and Civil Aviation to improve its own violation detection mechanisms - or they can pass another audit from a different safety agency to "override" the previous audit.

The sanction doesn't apply to humanitarian flights, flights outside of EU, or international airline companies.

The sanctioned companies are Atlantis, MarsAvia, Skyball, Armenia Airways, Aircompany Armenia, Armenian Helicopters.

Out of these 6, only Aircomany Armenia was transporting humans to-from the Lyon, EU.

EU has offered assistance to fix the problems. Aviation agreed to work with them to improve safety.

https://factor.am/255788.html

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189328

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017190.html

Another one of Dodi Gago's directors gets charged

BHK chief Gago owns the Ararat Wine Factory in Yerevan. Its Director is charged with fraud and forgery. The report says:

In 2019, the Director signed a contract with a delivery Firm. Months later the factory owed 120mln to the Firm.

Meanwhile, the Firm filed for bankruptcy. The factory Director forged documents before presenting them to the court during the bankruptcy hearing. By doing so, he tried to avoid paying back the 120mln debt to the Firm.

A felony case is launched against the Director.

https://factor.am/255710.html

"hate speech" 404

Update: The "hate speech" written against Civil Aviation chief Revazyan and her newborn baby, by the editor of shame.am website, was not against the law. The police dropped the investigation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189268

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gnijia/may202020_news_1_programming_classes_for_covid/?

COVID update

+517 infected. +25 healed. +20 deaths. 6368 active.

All-time: 10k infected, 158 deaths (56 of whom died from "other" causes but had COVID at the time of death).

--

Artsakh is still holding strong. 20 active, 26 healed, 0 deaths, 100 isolated.

--

Deputy-PM Mirzoyan, his family, and 1st lady's brother all tested negative.

--

101yo Nazani tati recovered and was discharged from St. Gregory hospital today, after spending weeks in ICU.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189259

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189260

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189282

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189325

NSS investigates parents...

...who ignored the COVID safety and organized a playground party with 50 kids in Shengavit, Yerevan. The police will penalize the organizers.

YOU'RE GOING TO JAIL, KIDS. SAY "hi" TO ROBIK.

Party: https://youtu.be/BVSgb310laM

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189256

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189273

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189307

protests after bazaar is told to close

Emergency Taskforce ordered Armavir's Meimandar bazaar to close for 24-hours for violating COVID rules about masks, gloves, temperature checks.

The low-income traders got upset and staged a protest, saying disinfection would be a better alternative to closing.

Police said there will be disinfection after the facility closes.

https://youtu.be/FcakxBHnjlk?t=193

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189288

"Gloria" factory workers in Vanadzor...

... were packed in a bus that takes them home after the shift. Pashinyan complained about the overcrowding, saying: "This is what secures the high COVID infection rates in Armenia."

Emergency Taskforce shut down the factory for 3 days.

PM: send me videos of overcrowding incidents so I can post them on my page. [his Facebook account is currently full of such photos/videos for naming and shaming]

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189331

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017191.html

https://factor.am/255843.html

Pashinyan threatens with curfew unless public follows safety

PM: the situation is bad, but if you follow safety, we'll defeat the pandemic. We still don't have the required discipline.

If the govt shuts down a market, we get blamed for being too harsh or supporting one business over the other. We'll be maximum harsh from now on. If you sell tomatoes you must follow safety rules.

We either follow safety rules, or we'll have a curfew and shut down the entire economy again. In this case, we'll have a long-term catastrophic economic crisis.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189312

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189315

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017174.html

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281635/

16,000 Armenian-Russians want to return

4,300 Armenians have already been registered in Russia to take emergency Russia-Armenia flights in the near future. They'll be required to self-isolate upon arrival.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281637/

names of COVID deaths leak

Hackers obtained and published the names of Armenians who died of COVID.

Security expert Samvel Martirosyan urges precaution: It's published by a Russia-based Facebook account which has a record of spreading photoshopped conversations belonging to [anti-Kocharyan] politician Styopa Safaryan. It could be a hacking leak or internal sabotage of the servers. Either way, the personal data isn't safe in govt database; there should be an independent group of observers to monitor data safety.

The govt later confirmed the authenticity of the names. The police are investigating.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189293

https://factor.am/255614.html

railway to resume its operations

South-Caucasus Railways saw a 64% drop in ridership in Yerevan-Gyumri since March 27th. Two-way traffic -15%.

Passengers will have their temperatures checked before boarding. Masks and distancing are required.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189275

Bonnie and Clyde terrorize Yerevan

A young couple was busted with burning down 4 garbage bins and shattering the windows of several shops in Yerevan.

The cops convinced Bonnie to appear at a station and confess to crimes.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189333

Lake Sevan

Last year the algae bloomed in Sevan to a higher degree than in the past. The lake turned "romantic green".

Nature Ministry:

The type of cyanobacteria that bloomed in Sevan is not as toxic as we see in other fresh lakes. EU is helping to examine its effect on agriculture and cattle.

Nonetheless, any cyanobacteria blooming is bad and can lead to loss of lake if no action is taken. We must remove chemical inflow into the lake. The phosphorous dumped into the lake acts as food.

Global high temps contribute to the problem. Last year the blooming began in mid-June. We expect a repetition this year.

--

We can increase the fish population to reduce organic growth; they act as sanitizers. The EU is helping us with that. After 19 years of improperly regulated industrial fishing, last year the govt clarified the regulations.

We also passed laws to better regulate how much and when the water can be drained from Sevan.

Despite our earlier concerns that Sevan's levels would be lower this year due to higher temp, at the last moment we had more rain, which balanced it.

More: https://factor.am/255567.html

https://factor.am/255586.html

ethnic minorities to get a vacation

Parliament voted 98-x to approve a QP bill to allow ethnic minorities to take an unpaid vacation during their ethnic/religious holidays.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017077.html

Garabed Gospel

Armenian Museum of America in Massachusetts will digitize one of the most important pieces in its collection–the 1207 Garabed Gospel written on 250 pages of goat skin, throughout the span of 11 years, during which the author became blind.

Full: http://asbarez.com/194495/800-year-old-garabed-gospel-to-be-digitized/

from village straight to your door

"Berqahavaq" is a service created during COVID. It connects the farmer with the consumer.

As in the case of box of chocolates, when you order one of their "loot crates", you don't know what's inside, but it's guaranteed to be a fresh veggie or fruit.

Weekly subscriptions are common. Each box costs $10 and weighs ~7kg with ~11 types of items.

The workers travel around and find farmers who agree for their goodies to be boxed and shipped.

Video: https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/06/02/Գյուղից՝-ձեր-տուն-«Բերքահավաք»-անակնկալ-արկղերը/386303


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gvdjcj/jun22020_news_1_fugitive_princes_assets_frozen/


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