2020 June 8

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/8/2020 News: (1) Minasyan charged again; Offshore firm & SPAYKA; Laptop with 9000 deleted files; List of deals (2) New NSS chief not a career KGB-shnik (3) UCOM founder to buy Beeline (4) Judge acquitted (5) High tech (6) ex-police chief Vlad (7) COVID news (8) High tech (9) Soccer league (10)..
by ar_david_hh


in case you missed

...the Sunday news. It'll give you a context.

new details about Mikael Minasyan's case / SPAYKA

Serj's son in law fugitive prince Mikael Minasyan was charged with financial crimes earlier. The IRS published a new report saying:

While investigating Minasyan's alleged crimes, we came across a vast financial empire run by him and his close ones. Its size is unprecedented in the 3rd Armenian Republic's history.

He's been charged with 3 new felonies related to his 2017-2018 activities: illegal enrichment (we all know he didn't do it), not declaring his wealth as a public official (Nikol's persecution of opponents), and money laundering (how could a man serving in Vatican launder money?).

In 2012-2018 he obtained shady money and used a Scotland-based offshore firm Waltex Express to purchase Armenian SPAYKA import-export agricultural giant's 49% shares, without declaring it as required by law. He used his relative Roza Stepanyan's help during the scheme.

Accomplice Roza Stepanyan is charged with 2 felony counts. Minasyan's charges are added. End of IRS report.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017764.html

Tags: #SPAYKA #MikaelMinasyan #LordMishik

Minasyan's old laptop is allegedly recovered with 9,000 files

QP MP Hrachya wrote:

The IRS didn't publish all the details about Minasyan's case. During the investigation, they found Minasyan's old laptop. 9,000 deleted files have been recovered.

They contain every necessary evidence. Everything. Whom he bribed and for how much. Size of laundering. How they bought elections. Etc.

The most valuable info is the list of his offshore firms. Imagine being so rich and livestreaming from your kitchen, yet being unable to delete files.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189728

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/

criminal subculture murder case solved

In Jul/3/2019 we learned that a criminal subculture figure Andranik Harutyunyan was shot and killed in his backyard gazebo.

The police say the suspect is a Russian citizen [most likely Armenian man] S.M. from Grozni region. He left Armenia days after the murder.

His Armenia-based accomplice was discovered and arrested. The main suspect is on the run.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017799.html

judge gets away because of sloppy investigators

Judge Davit Grigoryan and his secretary were charged with falsifying court documents. They're accusing of lying about meeting a certain deadline. The plaintiff of the trial the judge was presiding over had complained about the judge, saying judge's falsifications caused him harm.

(The investigation against the judge began in late-2018. Sometime in 2019 he was randomly chosen to be Kocharyan's judge.)

Today the court, led by Davit Balayan, terminated the case without even letting it proceed to the trial stage.

The defense lawyers believe the reason is that the investigators rushed during the fact-gathering process and conducted the raid before being fully allowed to do so; this rendered their facts inadmissible in court.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189713

mayor of Dzorak is charged

... with embezzling 3.8mln by registering a fake employee and stealing salaries between 2012-2018.

4 of his municipality colleagues are also charged with aiding. A felony case is launched.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189695

ex police chief is facing abuse of power accusations

QP MP Hrachya revealed that there is a felony case against the ex-police chief Vladimir Gasparyan (subject of other cases), who will go to court soon.

He's accused of giving his wife the title of Colonel and his daughter a Lt. Colonel and paying dozens of millions despite them not appearing at work.

The ex-official was seen on Facebook ranting about Pashinyan administration's "persecutions".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189714

UCOM's founder wants to buy Beeline ISP

UCOM wanted to buy Beeline but its HHK-linked shareholder got charged with money laundering as part of another case. The merger fell apart.

Meanwhile, UCOM fired its founder Yesayan, who went on to create his own ISP called TEAM. Now Yesayan's TEAM ISP wants to buy Beeline.

Beeline has agreed and asked the Utilities for permission. Yesayan has the necessary funds through loans. Beeline is still negotiating the terms.

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/06/08/Եսայան-եղբայրները-գնում-են-«Բիլայնը»/386871

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281816/

Army general is sacked over wedding party

Yesterday we learned that Lt. Gen Artak Davtyan, army's Chief of General Staff, threw a wedding party for his son. He claimed they followed safety orders and "I'll carry responsibility if I broke the rules".

Upon learning about the party, Pashinyan instructed Emergency Taskforce chief Avinyan to go shut it down, which he did.

Today Pashinyan fired Lt. General Davtyan. Later he wished the newlywed a happy marriage.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189688

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189715

https://factor.am/257476.html

Law enforcement heads are fired

Edward Martirosyan was de-facto the interim NSS chief after Vanetsyan's firing in 2019. Although Edward was confirmed as a "permanent" NSS chief recently, it was only on paper, at the last moment, because Pashinyan had to appoint someone due to a deadline. In reality, Pashinyan was still looking for a more suitable NSS chief.

Opposition LHK has long encouraged Pashinyan to bring an outsider as NSS chief because of corruption rooted deep into the agency. Pashinyan initially refused, but later agreed.

Recently he boosted Artashes Qaramyan's advancement in the system. Qaramyan served as SOC auditor's chief under Pashinyan. He's 28yo. Today he became the NSS chief.

--

Vahe Ghazaryan is the new police chief.

--

Onik Gasparyan will replace Artak Davtyan (the sacked wedding guy) as the army's Chief of General Staff.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189717

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189722

https://factor.am/257638.html

more firings

Pashinyan fired a cabinet official tasked with organizing receptions/parties (possibly related to recent COVID safety violations in govt buildings).

He also fired the deputy Nature Inspector.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189741

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189736

Pashinyan family recovers

...from COVID. Double-tests came negative. Pashinyan will attend work in-person again.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189710

COVID stats

The main testing lab was being disinfected. Fewer tests were conducted.

+195 infected. +85 healed. +11 deaths.

8943 active. 500 serious and critical. 4099 healed. 211 deaths.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189693

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189747

COVID enforcement

Former oligarch Lfik Samo's cousin and his wife were sitting in a cafe in Malatia-Sebastia district. The cops came and shut down the cafe for violating safety. They asked the couple to leave. The couple refused. An argument ensued and their arms were twisted.

video: https://youtu.be/j6Oe-7f7fUY

https://www.tert.am/am/news/2020/06/08/Hraparak/3311043

--

2 kindergartens were closed in Yerevan for violating safety. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189700

--

Villa Hills restaurant is closed for 3 days for organizing a wedding in violation of safety rules. This is the place that brought dancers in police and NSS uniforms.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189716

collection of COVID conspiracy theories

Facebook screenshots: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189708

press conference

Pashinyan said:

We've noticed that more people began to follow safety rules. Thank you. Your efforts will be reflected in stats next week... We're on the right path... We'll have groups of 2 volunteers who'll travel around and kindly remind citizens to follow safety... The mask should cover your nose...

Minister Torosyan said:

The Healthcare system expanded at an unprecedented level with 2,000 special beds. More hospitals will join soon. Others became available today.

None of this will help if we don't wear masks, wash hands, keep a distance... Talk to your boss if your workplace isn't safe.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189742

more hospitals to join the fight against COVID

...to address the bed shortage problem, which left some 200 patients waiting for their turn.

Spitak hospital with 100 beds, Vedi 100, Martuni 40, Dilijan 55. Ready in a few days.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189685

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189707

a hidden Room of Requirement is discovered in the school of Magic and Medicine

The legend says the Room of Requirement presents itself only when you truly need it.

When COVID bed shortages were reported, people pointed out that Medical University has a free facility that's left unused. The deputy Healthcare Minister investigated and found:

In March we asked all medical institutes to isolate a place for COVID. Medical University's facility was used to keep patients waiting for test results. Last weekend the director informed me that the university has had the second (unused) facility. It can house 10 people.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189712

volunteers join the fight

Healthcare Ministry recruited 123 volunteer doctors and nurses to fight COVID. 5 of them are anesthesiologist-resuscitators, some from the diaspora.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189750

Artsakh will require testing before arrival

President Arayik placed restrictions on funeral and wedding attendance and ordered everyone coming from Armenia to get tested first.

Soldiers who return to Armenia and come back will need to be tested, too. There will be a rapid testing station at the border

Artsakh only has two dozen active cases.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189691

Update: more govt agencies save money

Economy Ministry saved 9.2bln in 2019 and returned it to budget.

Territorial Management Ministry 55bln, IRS 1.4bln, High Tech Ministry 0.3bln (could have purchased 10,000 flash drives with that money)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017721.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017724.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017729.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017730.html

gas price negotiations continue

Gazprom-Armenia wants an 11% hike while Utilities 4%, for internal consumers.

Utilities want to negotiate a price that'll be stable for 10 years and secure $500mln in investments. There will be a big debate soon.

Utilities want to keep the price the same for poor or low-consumption users, at the expense of high consumption users and agricultural businesses. "Either way, consumers would feel the impact."

This is happening because Russia raised the border gas price from $150 to $165 last year, so the internal re-seller Gazprom-Armenia has to adjust the price to be profitable.

Calls have been made to renegotiate the entire gas delivery agreement with Russia signed by Serj in 2013. Critics call it "shameful and capitulation".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189704

gas price hike won't affect electricity prices

...said Utilities chief today. "The internal mechanisms in the energy sector can address the gas hike".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/18970

illegal walls and budkas were removed...

... form the Yerevan Botanical Garden, at the request of Mayor. https://youtu.be/o8iXRN7sT8k?t=5

a car went up in flames on Komitas Avenue

https://youtu.be/0-6v0SSqZ1Y

cyber security and high tech

High Tech Minister Arshakyan:

Armenian businesses don't like using high tech. Yes, we're the leader in EAEU, but only 62nd in the world.

63rd when it comes to high tech's influence on lowering the cost of services.

40th place when it comes to govt's effective use of tech.

80th place in govt's purchases of high tech.

79th place in cyber-security. World Bank will help Armenia with this.

https://youtu.be/iHvJfWaNVuo?t=671

protecc the kitten

Yenoqavan's rare leopard is in the news again. CNF nature organization will increase the donations to better protect the area where the cat lives. Tools and transport fuel will be purchased for rangers.

Cat: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=583887092233232

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017736.html

Armenian soccer league finally grabs attention

...because 0 Armenians played in the recent match between Ararat and Noah (name a more iconic duo, I'll wait)

Sports commentators, players, and fans joined the discussion on the net. Jokes were made that the referee was the only Armenian.

Recently the rules were changed to require 7 out of 23 registered players (not necessarily on the field) to be Armenian. Critics say that's not enough.

Counter critics say there aren't many qualified Armenian players; It's easier to find a well-trained legionnaire.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189711

Grandmaster Levon Aronyan

... is playing in Lt. Louis's "Clutch" tournament. He has 5/8 points.

Days ago he defeated Russia's Alexander Grischuk with 3 draws, 1 loss, and 2 wins. They'll play another set of 6 games to decide who advances to semi-finals.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017718.html


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gz4vem/jun82020_news_1_minasyan_charged_again_offshore/

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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