18.10.2019 | According to preliminary estimates of criminal cases initiated on the facts of corruption abuses in the field of water use, the state has suffered damage in the amount of 5.7 billion AMD

Within the framework of criminal cases investigated under the supervision of prosecutors of regional divisions of the RA prosecutor’s office, measures are being taken with a view to comprehensively identify corruption abuses registered during the period of activity of water user companies operating in the republic.


In the course of a study carried out by the Department for Combating Corruption Crimes of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia, it has been found out that in the period of 2018 – 2019, 13 criminal cases have been initiated and are currently being investigated on the grounds of the use of powers by competent officials / in the field of water user companies /contrary to the interests of the company, abuse of authority, falsification and use of documents by a group of people by prior conspiracy, embezzlement or misappropriation of large sums and official negligence by the employees. The latter include water user companies <<Ararat>>, <<Artashat>>, <<Talin>>, <<Aragatsotn>>, <<Kotayk>>, <<Lori>>, <<Martuni>>, <<Shenik>>, <<Yerevan>>, <<Echmiadzin>> and <<Armavir>> located in Lori, Shirak, Kotayk, Armavir, Ararat, Aragatsotn, Gegharkunik regions.


The analyses of the factual data obtained during the preliminary investigation reveal that many corruption schemes of abuses have taken place with the participation of water users companies for many years by means of falsification of water provision services, falsification of water quantity and the damages, embezzlement of subsidiary means received from the budget. Particularly, in some cases during 2016-2018 officials who had high positions in water users companies, abusing their power, violated their basic requirements, recorded the quantity of water without installing water meters recording not by cubic meters, but in hectares. As a result, customers have been deprived of the ability to control the quantity of the water supplied. Besides, additional payments were made, after which these data were included in the electronic registration books, as for data of supplied water, services; the actual quantity of the services provided was exaggerated.


In order to pay the debts of water users formed by artificial means and to recover the damages caused during 2016-2017, the funds subsidized from the state budget for the repayment of debts of water users were formed as debt repayments accumulated in the name of subscribers. In some cases, formal contracts for the lease and purchase of various services have been concluded, where the services provided have not been provided in full or have not been provided at all. These schemes were illegally applied by officials of the Water committee of the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural resources of the Republic of Armenia for improper performance of their duties. In case of some water users sometimes fake working contracts have been concluded with them in the absence of the RA citizen, according to which they were shown as water users. The money in especially large amounts was embezzled for the work not carried out actually.    


According to the preliminary calculations carried out during the investigation the damage caused to the state amounted about 5,7 billion drams. In order to provide full, impartial and comprehensive investigation of the criminal cases means are undertaken to complete the scope of the persons involved in the criminal schemes and give legal evaluations to the actions in order to clarify and recover the material damage caused to the State.


The damage caused to the state is more 1 billion AMD, which was found out in the result of criminal cases initiated against relevant officials of the Companies of Water Users of «Echmiadzin» and «Armavir» for the embezzlement of large sums of money by abusing official position, forgery and usage of documents by a group of persons in preliminary consent, official negligence causing grave consequences. The director of <<Armavir>> Water Users who was in office during 2016-2017 has been charged under Article 179, Part 3, Point 1 of the RA Criminal Code.


Information on the progress and results of such kind of crimes will be presented regularly.