2020 May 21

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Anti-Corruption Daily

May/21/2020 News: (1) HHK MP charged with abduction & torture (2) Giant solar farm (3) Only 1 exam (4) Forest embezzlement (5) Yerevan district chief busted (6) COVID. Anti-body tests. Doctors needed (7) Soccer rules (8) Sauna found in university (9) Artsakh president's electric car (10) Inflation
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.


Nemets Rubo is charged with kidnapping and torturing a man for 3 weeks

ex HHK MP and oligarch Nemets Rubo was hit with new felony charges yesterday. His lawyer claimed Rubo is innocent and only tried to "recover money" stolen by his Harsnaqar restaurant's director.

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Prosecutors give their version of events:

In 2015, the director borrowed 52mln from Rubo's "Haykakan Bank". He stole 30mln of it. Rubo, his son, and son's 2 friends locked up and repeatedly assaulted the director between July/26-Aug/18 in 2016, in one of Harsnaqar's cottages.

Director was driven to Rubo's Yerevan house where he was demanded to pay $120,000. The next day he was driven back to Harsnaqar, tortured and electroshocked on the cheek.

To prevent his escape, they took turns to guard the area 24/7 and took away the director's cellphone.

In Aug/13 they forced him to visit a police station and sell his cars and take loans, followed by more personal humiliation.

Finally, Rubo told the director to bring his family members. When they arrived, they threatened the family unless they come up with $120,000 (57mln). The family sold their house, jewelry, cars, TV, etc., and became homeless.

Rubo and accomplices are facing 11 felony charges. An arrest warrant in-absentia is issued.

Rubo flew to Moscow 3 months ago and claims he can't return due to COVID restrictions. The Armenian embassy secured a special COVID-flight for Rubo shall he choose to return voluntarily.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188485

Only 1 exam for university admission

Today the govt approved Education Ministry reform to require only 1 exam in public and private universities for 2020-2021 admission.

In the past, 2-3 were required depending on the major. Other changes were made to prevent a conflict between education and military conscript.

Pashinyan: the students are going to end up loving coronavirus for this.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188417

Investigative journalism uncovers felony land abuse

Hetq outlet wrote a piece about land ownership in Dilijan Park. It led to an investigation.

Prosecutors said:

In 2016 Dilijan city gave a permit to businessman to build a recreational resort within 12 months. However, it was left unfinished and the permit wasn't extended.

The city was required to warn the businessman to either extend the permit and finish the construction, or to sell it to others, or to penalize the businessman. The city did none, causing 3.2mln in damages.

City also failed to return the 5,000 m2 land to public possession.

A felony case is launched against [ex] officials.

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During this investigation, prosecutors found similar violations in other cases.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015962.html

Yerevan official accused of felony coverup

In Feb/17/2020 we learned that the chief of Ajapnyak district Gevorg Babayan was forced to resign for allegedly firing a construction inspector and purging inspector's findings, in order to allow "Jermuki Noro" businessman to continue with his illegal construction. Yerevan contacted the police.

Investigators say they confirmed the findings and prohibited him from leaving Armenia. A felony case is launched. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188450

Thieve-in-law arrested

This morning the NSS raided a building in Buzand St. and arrested criminal subculture figure "Arsen Yerevanski". He is the cousin of "Kndo", and has a big influence in the underground life of Russian Kaluga and Moscow regions.

The NSS applied a force against the security guard who resisted.

https://factor.am/251843.html

High ranking Justice Ministery official is busted...

... with bribery of thousands of dollars between 2015-2019, say investigators.

https://youtu.be/rPKU1hE6HUE

COVID stats / Who is infected? / What now?

Since yesterday: +1751 tested (record high). +355 infected (record high). +3 deaths.

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Currently: 2928 active. 2581 healed. 135 serious. 63 critical. 15 on a lung ventilator.

Infections double every 15 days.

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By groups: 270 kids. 27 pregnant. 375 medics (8% of all).

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Healthcare Minister:

131 ICU units are currently used, 72 are free. That's not much.

Initially we predicted 1k tests per day, but yesterday we did 1.7k.

Thanks to people being more vigilant due to COVID, this year we haven't had other commonly seen virus outbreaks. Overall deaths are down.

If we don't want military on the streets and a total ban on leaving the home, we should follow safety tips. We might have to wear masks for 1-2 years.

We need more doctors, especially for ICU, so the existing ones won't have to overwork and place lives at risk. Tomorrow we'll interview 60 Medical University students from 2nd and 3rd semesters to recruit them as assistants.

We only spent 2.4bln so far on construction, equipment etc., that's too little. This year we'll need $300mln.

Those journalists who complain about some doctors earning "too much", I encourage them to become a doctor and also earn "too much". Their lives are at stake.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188416 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188422 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188429 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188432 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188441 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188445 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188449 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015943.html , https://youtu.be/S1TjMBC0EuQ , https://factor.am/251775.html

anti-body tests to detect % of exposed population

Healthcare Ministry will soon import test kits and conduct COVID anti-body detection experiments to find out what % of the population has developed an immunity.

"We expect the % to be insignificant and not enough for herd immunity. Even Italy doesn't have herd immunity with its <20% exposure," said Minister Torosyan.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188458

71%

Yandex tech giant found that after removing the movement restrictions this week, the movement activity in Yerevan reached 71% of pre-COVID levels.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281299/

U.S. increases COVID aid...

...by $1mln, bringing it to $5.4mln, said ambassador Tracey.

https://youtu.be/5YfrkYXEw50

Who else donated to Armenia?

WHO gave 2,000 tests, China $20k, Swiss $40k, Netherlands gave tests, Japan to give equipment, Russia 20,000 tests, Canada and India could give meds, UAE gave PPE and 1.3 tons of food, EU gave $2.7mln, various UN agencies, Red Cross, etc.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188454 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188453 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1016000.html

COVID is not the only concern

Minister Torosyan:

Besides COVID, we're getting reports about Kawasaki Syndrome hitting kindergartens in U.S. and EU. It's a serious autoimmune disease. So far Armenia had 3 cases (within norm). We purchased a batch of expensive meds.

https://www.cdc.gov/kawasaki/index.html

Soccer rules change

Soccer Federation has new rules for clubs:

5 substitutes, no handshakes, no gift exchanges, no photos, entire teams+coaches take COVID test 2 days before the league starts, less indoor activities, teams must arrive at different times to prevent crowding, buses must be disinfected before leaving.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015967.html

YoY inflation for April

Turkey 10.9%, Georgia 6.9%, Kazakhstan 6.8%, Russia 3.1%, Armenia 0.9%.

https://youtu.be/kMvk1TupZCU

Tax waiver was given...

... to ceramics producer Չերամիզիա ինթերնեշնլ to invest 759mln, 162 jobs, 150k salary.

... to AMA Compressor company to process metal sheets, invest 90mln, 57 jobs, 159k salary.

... to Naki company to build materials that are used for greenhouse construction. 120mln investment, 10 jobs, 180k salary.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188421 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015938.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015935.html

Mega solar panel

In 2019, UAE-based Masdar company announced a willingness to invest $320mln and build 400MW photovoltaic solar farm in Armenia.

The electricity production tariff proposal is 2.99 cents per kW. The govt launched an auction to see if other companies will offer significantly cheaper deals, but Masdar will be "favored" for being the original initiator (or something like that).

Armenia plans to get 26% of energy from renewables by 2025.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188438 , http://arka.am/en/news/technology/armenian_government_to_prequalify_companies_for_construction_of_ayg_1_photovoltaic_solar_power_plant/

Artsakh has a new president

Today Arayik Harutyunyan was sworn in as Artsakh's new president. He announced plans to consider moving the Parliament from capital Stepanakert to Shushi.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188487

electromobile

Artsakh's president Arayik will use an electric Hyundai car for trips. He used it to visit his swearing ceremony today.

Video: https://youtu.be/eG69Cy8TxYA

Pic: https://www.facebook.com/nikol.pashinyan/posts/2642036149450097

Rector finds sauna in university's basement / տժժում ենք բոլորս

Vanadzor University's new rector says he found a sauna in rector's building's basement (pic inside). He says it hasn't operated for a year, but it's functional. "Come and see it, I got the keys. People worked here for decades, no way they didn't know about this. This is gross. We have a luxury sauna but a worn-out sports center."

The ex-rector refused to comment, saying he'll only respond if accusations are made against him.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188463

Crazy's wedding by Bambir

https://youtu.be/pMsGh2HLyIQ?t=15

Azeri Emergency Minister runs a red light and hits a car

https://youtu.be/KUe_ThlFXnQ

Turkish mosque plays Italian rebel "Bella Ciao" song instead of a prayer, causing scandal

https://youtu.be/wgBI9CQ7ceI


Link to original report and comments: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/go26nw/may212020_news_1_hhk_mp_charged_with_abduction/


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