One after another, Armenia staggering corruption scandals. The new leadership of the national security Service (NSS), regardless of the person, exposes the schemes, machinations, and relationships of senior officials, their relatives, and especially close business. Without further ADO I invite you in for questioning and owners of retail chains, and national heroes, which has recently been cleared. At least law enforcement tried to avoid them. “the Tape.ru” saw as the new Prime Minister is fulfilling the promises he made at the Republic square.
Nikol Pashinyan seems to have ceased to gain popularity and strengthen your ranking is nowhere. “Online Premier” still goes on the air via your Facebook, operates as transparently as possible, is held directly and maintains integrity in fulfilling their promises, which are reduced to two points: early parliamentary elections and the eradication of corruption.
With the election not so simple: according to the Constitution, you can declare them only in case if the Parliament twice not choose the Prime Minister, but he already did. But the head of the government still promised to update the Parliament during the year. On the second point, everything is much simpler: virtually every day in Armenia has seen high-profile revelations which persons involved become very influential and respected people — even to brothers of ex-President and ex-Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan.
the Main anti-corruption club in addition to was previously unknown, and today almost a national hero, Arthur, Venezian, who headed the national security Service (highly specialized analogue of the Russian FSB).
Began the Colonel with the fact that covered the customs of the monopolist of Armenia — a Norfolk Consulting company, catch her in a major tax evasion and fraud. The company was incorporated in the summer of 2017 and famous for that too urged importers to issue a customs paper solely through itself, and the “refuseniks” had been the problem. The CEO of this company was the former chief accountant of the company “Gazprom Armenia” Armen Hunanyan, and its leaders in the local Gazprom a former Finance Minister Vardan Aramyan former Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.
the NSC conducted searches in the offices of the company and in the house Hunanian. It turned out that Norfolk Consulting substituted product in the declarations will not be issued properly contracts on the provision of services and enjoyed, to put it mildly, not entirely legal auspices of Armenian authorities. In just nine months of operation, the company “optimized” taxes on the total amount of seven million dollars, and during the searches at the CEO found another half a million in cash.
For a country with an annual budget of three billion dollars (in Russia, for example, is more than $ 250 billion) is little more than a large amount, especially given such a short period.
Armen Hunanyan admitted guilt and compensate for damage. And the process of customs clearance, takes up to a few days, reduced to hours.
another “victim” of the NSS were local supermarkets, and all at once. While the public was astonished by watching the story of Norfolk Consulting, masked men stormed the Yerevan City supermarkets owned by MP, oligarch Samvel Aleksanyan. The local media called it “a personal oligarch Serzh Sargsyan”, which makes a significant financial contribution to the electoral activities of the former President and his Republican party of Armenia (RPA).
the audits revealed that Yerevan City, and 11 other major retailers fiddling with the accounts, evading payment of taxes. The fact that in Armenia, for small businesses whose turnover does not exceed 240 thousand dollars, operates a simplified taxation instead of VAT, they pay turnover tax at the rate of two percent. Using this, the owners of the supermarkets have registered hundreds of fake individual entrepreneurs (SP) who work on-site retail chains. This allowed big businesses to act like a small business and is VAT to pay to the budget a modest two percent of turnover.
This scheme has been used over the years and has caused damage to the state millions of dollars. And yet it turned out that the former leadership of law enforcement and tax authorities knew about this scheme and patronized her. Disinterested, I suppose. In this regard, for questioning in the “office” has caused practically all the officers, one way or another had a bearing on the activities of retailers. But retailers now have to repair the damage caused to the budget.
the background of this scandal, the Deputy-oligarch Samvel Aleksanyan came out of the parliamentary faction of the Republican party, so did his colleague Artak Sargsyan (Deputy, owner of SAS supermarket chain).
These revelations seemed obscenely loud. Talked about them in the kitchen and in coffee shops, but it soon turned out that this is just the beginning. On 16 June, the SNB agents came to one of the “untouchables”: was arrested, the Deputy-Republican — Lieutenant-General Manvel Grigoryan. This event is literally shocked the Armenian society and nearly split the society into two camps.
Manvel Grigoryan called simply “General Manvel”. He led the Union of volunteers “Yerkrapah” from this organization in the years of Karabakh war grew the modern Armenian army. Established in 1993, 1999, the Union came under the control of the company. He himself during the Karabakh war, led a volunteer brigade, then commanded a military connection. Grigoryan awarded with medals and orders, including he was awarded the title “Hero of Karabakh”.
At the beginning of zero Manvel Grigorian established himself as a faithful ally of then-President Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan, held the position of head Ministry of defence. He was promoted to major General, then Lieutenant General, eight years occupied the position of Deputy Minister of defense of Armenia, since 2012 — member of Parliament. The General settled in the town of Etchmiadzin (Ejmiatsin) of Armavir region of Armenia and there was the “king and God”.
the news about the arrest of General stirred up the city. It was reported that he was suspected of illegal possession of weapons. Grigoryan took the day and in the evening in Etchmiadzin held a rally in his support, which was organized by the mayor of the city — the son of Manvel Grigoryan, Karen. A little later the protests were held before the building of NSC, the police had to disperse the crowd, who demanded the immediate release of a national hero.
However, the next day NSS distributed operational footage from searches of General Manvel. A couple of hundred thousand dollars, a few tens of certificates of ownership of real estate, grenade launchers, TNT, grenades, dozens of rifles, pistols — in a word, Arsenal for a small private army. A General also had three of the fleet, in the first and the second retro-cars, the third — all terrain vehicles, ATVs. In addition, the hero of Karabakh had kept a small menagerie of wild animals — tigers, bears, ostriches, etc.
But really, the public was shocked when at searches in a luxurious manor Manvel Grigoryan found the food during the four day war in Karabakh (April 2016) went to the front.
the Background is: when in 2016 the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone has worsened and actually started fighting, the citizens of Armenia and foreign Armenian Diaspora have rushed to send aid to the front collecting money, food, ammunition, supplies. A significant portion of these supplies was through the Union of volunteers “Yerkrapah” and, as it turned out, not left.
Manvel found the soldiers ‘ rations — thousands of cans of corned beef. He fed their animals. We find out later that was found in Holy Etchmiadzin the estate — only a small part. Strategic reserves General assigned all their estates in Armenia and in Karabakh. And it was not just the food. During the searches, found bandages, medicines, linen, toilet paper, condensed milk, sunflower oil… it was All collected by schools, kindergartens, universities, community organizations and ordinary people. At some point the investigators stopped counting goods packaging and pieces and went to kilograms and tons.
in addition to manufactured goods and weapons in General found a specially equipped off-road ambulance transferred by the Armenians of Russia to help the soldiers at the front, and even the letters of schoolchildren to the soldiers that they have made to their packages.
as soon As Grigoryan was taken away, his wife Nazik Amiryan decided to get rid of the evidence, and tried through members of the “Yerkrapah” to dispose of the contents of the warehouses, but it was impossible physically. On June 25 she and Karen Grigoryan (soon after the arrest of his father, he resigned) was charged with the theft.
the Republican party of Armenia, the first day after the arrest carefully supported Manvel Grigoryan, after publicity from fellow denied. The Parliament has stripped him of parliamentary immunity. Now the General is waiting for the court.
as a result, “Tsar and God” of Holy Etchmiadzin General Grigoryan was in jail national security Council of Armenia. In Karabakh to discuss the deprivation of his title of hero, and netizens create memes in Facebook about Arthur “Rambo” Veneziane and snapping caps with the inscription “NSC”.
After General Manvel Armenian security forces took up the closest circle of the former President Serzh Sargsyan. First on the list was Vachagan Ghazaryan, a former Deputy chief of security service of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. This is one of the most trusted people in Sargsyan, it is called “Sergievsky, VACO” he is the owner of one popular night spots in Yerevan.
a Few days ago the national security services personnel broke into his club, and during the search found more than half a million dollars in cash. Searched the house of his wife, found about the same. Day 25 Jun Ghazarian was detained at the exit from the Bank he cashed a million dollars and was going to cash out another $ 3.2 million. Clearly explain the origin of the money Ghazaryan could not.
major General Vachagan Ghazaryan were charged with illicit enrichment and concealment of income. Now he’s in custody․
Simultaneously with the arrest Ghazarian Investigative Committee of Armenia informed about the criminal case on the facts of evasion from payment of taxes and deliberate bankruptcy of the Fund Levon Sargsyan is the brother of former President Serzh Sargsyan. As a result of the activities of its Foundation budget of Armenia fell short of the 625 thousand dollars. It is noteworthy that the former President Serzh Sargsyan for the activity of this Fund has awarded the brother with the medal “For services to the Motherland” first degree.
Another brother of Serzh Sargsyan — Alexander — was arrested Monday afternoon by special forces of Armenia. Video of the arrest appeared in Facebook, and a press-service of law enforcement agencies confirmed the fact of detention of the former MP Aleksandr (Sashik) Sargsyan, known as “Sashik-50-percent,” was arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of weapons. Towards evening he was released.
However, the case of General Manvel also started to talk about guns, and ended PanArmenian shock. Perhaps Salecom Sargsyan will happen about the same. Armenian media for ten years, writing that Sashik racketeering, imposing their 50% partnership any vending business (hence the nickname). In addition, there is evidence of close ties with Sashik Sargsyan who are active in the Western United States Armenian organized crime groups, in particular, with the kingpin Armen Kazaryan (PZO). This allows with high probability to assume that the story of Alexander Sargsyan has just begun.
meanwhile the clouds are gathering over the mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan. Member of the RPA, the son of former Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, Taron ruled the capital since 2011.
June 13, at city hall were searched, was seized extensive database of documents. The results revealed a major theft, fraud and cases of systematic abuse of official position. In particular, it was found that upon issuance of certain permits city hall officials required citizens to make contributions to the Fund “Yerevan”, affiliated with the local municipality (located in the same building as city hall), while financial flows were opaque, and part of the money was appropriated.
While national security Council of Armenia is preparing materials on the fact of theft, abuse and fraud in the Fund “Yerevan”, a group of journalists has released an investigation regarding the assets of the capital mayor. The project was led by the assistant to the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinian on anti-corruption Arenas Mkrtchyan. In the nearly twenty-minute film investigates the Declaration Margaryan, his property, hidden assets, rewritten in family and friends cars, real estate, shares in different companies and so on. According to the authors, the information submitted for investigation to the NSC.
the Above are only the most high-profile revelations. The background to these are smaller scandals, and hundreds of them. The police, prosecutors the Investigative Committee daily report on the disclosure of another abuse, theft, forgery, fraud. Fighting corruption is literally everywhere — in kindergartens, in schools, in universities, in clinics and health centres, in military units and in the Ministry of defence, within the power structures of the rural administrations and even at fairs… Everywhere. The new Ministers serving statements to the police about violations in the work of their agencies, former Ministers invited for questioning. Mayors, governors and officials of lower rank resign. News feeds of the Armenian media turned into a chronicle of crime.
“All are equal before the law, even members of my family,” said Pashinyan and again. Apparently, he wasn’t kidding.
Today, the fight against corruption is the main political driver in Armenia. As a result, in less than two months the anti-corruption campaign, the government recovered damages $ 35 million. The amount may seem small, but it is more than one percent of the budget of Armenia and more than ten percent of its deficit. In addition, increased tax collection for may, the plan was exceeded by two percentage points. If it goes, the country will end the year with a surplus.
against this background, the political agenda along with the economy remains somewhere in the backyard. But, on the other hand, the current government of Armenia positioning itself as temporary and preparing for re-election — already by popular vote. Their main competitors is still power in the face of the Republican party of Armenia and its leader Serge Sargsyan depressed, demoralized, discredited. Politically they destroyed. While only politically but, perhaps, it already is Arthur Venezian.