17 march 2020

Another official charged with abuse of authority

Another official charged with abuse of authority

The National Security Service of RA, being faithful to the principle of eliminating various manifestations of corruption, within the functions vested upon it by the law aimed at countering corruption, by combination of evidence that was obtained as a result of operational and search measures and investigative activities undertaken in the criminal case − which was initiated and being investigated in the Investigation Department of the NSS of RA in connection with abuses of power by a number high-ranking officials of the RA State Revenue Committee − made a decision to involve another official as a defendant for apparent abuse of official authority, along with creating heavy consequences for the state.

According to the received factual information, within the period of 2014-2015, the chief of one of the main departments of the RA Ministry of Finance that carries out customs control over the goods transported across the RA customs border, being an official and implementing the functions of the representative of authority, during the noted period, jointly with the relatives of his superior, the Finance Minister of RA, proceeding from personal and group interest - providing material benefit for the founders of the economic entity engaged in entrepreneurship – as well as using the official position against the interests of the service, in 2015 instructed the customs inspector, an official dependent on him by virtue of employment, to ignore the mandatory condition of screening the sponsored company’s cargo imported to the Republic of Armenia, according to the “red channel” procedure. Taking advantage of inspector’s negligence, which was due to this instruction, the representatives of the mentioned economic entity declared expensive ceramic tiles - produced in the Kingdom of Spain and the Italian Republic and regularly transported from that countries to Armenia - as a building gypsum, thus reducing the customs value; with the use of false invoices based on which customs clearance and taxation of goods is being conducted, as well as with the use of calculations submitted to the customs bodies with the data of these false invoices, they got customs clearance and sold the expensive construction material that had been imported to the Republic of Armenia.

Consequently, as result of the activities of the mentioned official of the RA Ministry of Finance, the requirements of the legislation regulating the legal relationships in the noted field have been severely violated; the normal functioning of the state body in the field of trade control and taxation has been disrupted; the state body has been discredited; the economic entities importing the same type of product have faced inequalities; favorable conditions have been created for commission of an offence. As a result, material damage was caused to the state along with severe consequences.

Due to the sufficient combination of interrelated and reliable evidence obtained in the case, a decision has been made to involve the mentioned official of the RA Ministry of Finance as a defendant, according to the corresponding article of the Criminal Code of RA. Taking into account that he left the territory of the Republic of Armenia back in September of 2018, the latter has been declared internationally wanted, and arrest has been chosen by the court as a measure of restraint against him.

Preliminary investigation goes on; measures are being taken to find the wanted person, to bring him before the body conducting the proceeding and to find out his connection to the other events of crime.

Note: The suspect or accused of an alleged crime is considered innocent as long as his/her guilt is not proven in a manner prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure of RA - by the court decision entered into legal force.