30.05.2022 | Abuses of 26 million AMD in the field of food supply to people isolated in hotels during the Covid 19 pandemic

The Department of State Interest Protection of the General Prosecutor's Office studied the sphere of ensuring the isolation of people and their food provision during Covid 19 pandemic in line with the requirements of the legislation on the basis of the documents received from the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia and the Audit Chamber of the Republic of Armenia.


The study revealed that in the frame of the measure "Provision of allowances of people isolated due to the Coronavirus (Covid 19)" confirmed by the Decision of the RA Government of 28.03.2020, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia purchased catering services from 4 companies.


The above-mentioned transactions made according to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 296-A of 12.03.2020 were carried out without signing written contracts, making payments on the basis of invoices.


During April-September, 2020,  a total of 23 tax invoices and invoices were issued stating that during the specified period 32.000 people were isolated in Golden Palace, Zartonk, Writers' House of Tsaghkadzor, Nairi, Marriott, Minotel, Nare, Nork Residence, and Sport Baza hotels of Tsaghkadzor and food with the value of about 149.000.000 AMD was provided per person.


The tax invoices and invoice certificates were accepted by the authorized officials of the RA Ministry of Economy.


Meanwhile, it was found that according to the data available in the RA Ministry of Health, the number of people isolated in the above-mentioned hotels during April-September was about 26.000 people.


In other words, comparing the data of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia regarding the people isolated in the above-mentioned hotels and the tax invoices and invoices, it was found that the state paid about 23.000.000 AMD more for food for about 6.000 people.


Hence, the received documents contain data that the responsible people of the mentioned companies, taking advantage of the situation created by the pandemic, prepared and wrote out tax invoices and invoice certificates, in which they wrote false data not corresponding to reality regarding the food provided to about 6.000 people not staying in the hotels. Thus significant, large and particularly large damage of about 23.000.000 AMD was caused to the state. And the responsible officials of the Ministry of Economy showed dishonest or negligent attitude towards the service, without taking measures to check the data submitted, accepted the tax invoices and invoice certificates, carelessly causing serious consequences for the state.


Taking into that the study revealed sufficient data the State Interests Protection Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Armenia initiated criminal case according to Article 178, Part 1 (Point 3), Part 2, Point 2 (5 episodes) of the RA Criminal Code and according to Article 325, Part 1 (9 episodes) and Article 315, Part 2, Point 1 of the RA Criminal Code (1 episode).


The criminal case was sent to the RA Investigative Committee for preliminary investigation.


Notice: Every person suspected in or charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent unless proved guilty in the manner prescribed by the RA Criminal Procedure Code and unless the verdict comes into legal force.