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27.05.2019 | Within the criminal case concerning the North-South program, manifestations of "non-objective" transactions and tax evasion have been identified

The preliminary investigation of the criminal case initiated in the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia on the grounds of p. 2 art. 308 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia on committing visible criminal acts by officials and abuses during the implementation of the North-South Road Corridor program continues.

As part of a multi-episode and large-scale criminal case organized by the investigative group, numerous investigative and procedural actions are actively carried out in order to identify all the manifestations and episodes, identify all the persons who have committed the crime and the criminal legal assessment of their actions.

According to the actual data already acquired during the preliminary investigation, many episodes of entering into various kinds of formal, “non-objective” transactions, forgery of documents, embezzlement, and malicious tax evasion have been revealed.

Particularly, two contracts were signed in June of 2016 between two consulting companies on rendering “obviously unnecessary” consultations as part of the M1 Talin-Gyumri section, authorities said. And from 2016 to 2018 tax bills worth 1,2 billion drams were filed at the name of one of these companies.

The investigation revealed that the contracts were signed in order to reduce tax obligations, for which fraudulent transactions were filed, and a fake entrepreneurship was carried out. No consulting works were rendered whatsoever.

Staff of the consulting company cashed out 600 million drams from their bank accounts and gave it to the executive of the company, and the money was formalized under fake documentation.

In order to deduct the tax liabilities of the companies attracted and the damage caused to the state, professional tax audits were instituted, 2 of which registered unpaid taxes, damage to the state (including penalties, fines) amounting to 1 billion 10 million drams. The remaining checks are still in progress.

On the basis of the factual data obtained during the preliminary investigation of the criminal case, on April 30, 2019, a criminal case was initiated on the grounds of a crime under p. 3 art. . 189 and p.  2 art.  205 of the RA Criminal Code, and another criminal case was added to the case on the North-South Road Corridor program - for the purpose of malicious tax evasion of a number of companies, acquisition of false documents without actual delivery of goods or without rendering services, tax evasion in especially large amounts by including them in documents submitted by the State Revenue Committee adjunct to the Government of the Republic of Armenia in the manner prescribed by law. Besides, on the instructions of the prosecutor, three criminal cases initiated on the grounds of p. 2 art.  205 of the RA Criminal Code against companies involved in the North-South Road Corridor program were combined into the main case investigated by the Department for Especially Important Cases  of the RA Investigative Committee. During the preliminary investigation, it turned out that without the actual provision of services, false accounting documents have been issued in the amount of about 195 million drams, as a result of which companies evaded paying large-scale taxes to the State budget, while the government suffered damage in especially large amounts.

According to preliminary calculations carried out in two companies in order to clarify the circumstances of these possible “non-objective” transactions, in order to ascertain the specific amount of damage caused to the State, they may have obligations to pay taxes to the State totaling about 600 million drams (including fines and penalties). To obtain the final calculation and determine the size of the damage caused to the State, a forensic accounting examination has been appointed. The preliminary investigation continues.