ArmInfo. Preliminary investigation of the criminal case initiated on apparent abuses committed within implementation of <North-South Road> program is ongoing in General Department of Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the RA Investigative Committee.
As the press service of the Investigative Committee informs, in the result of investigatory and other procedural actions of great volume conducted within the criminal case data were obtained on swindling 871 million AMD tantamount to 1.8 million USD through signing and confirming fake payment certificates with supplementary, data on the work more than done actually committed by the director of chief contractor Spanish company which implemented construction work at Transh 1 and Transh 2 parts of <North-South Road> program together with the head of the team of French company carrying out technical supervision.
On the base of the obtained evidence a decision was made to involve the director of chief contractor company as a defendant according to the Point 1 of the Part 3 of the Article 178 of RA Criminal Code, detention was chosen as a pretrial measure against him. Considering that the latter is not in the RA search was declared against him. It was earlier informed that charge was pressed against the head of the team of French company, as well.
Besides, in the result of investigatory and procedural joint actions of great volume conducted by the officers of the Investigative Committee and National Security Service data were obtained on money laundering between the contractor and subcontractor companies while implementing the program, a clearly set scheme was disclosed through which the money obtained in a criminal way in the result of the preceding crimes was legitimized.
At this stage of investigation of cases on money laundering between the contractor and subcontractor companies while implementing the program charges were pressed against two directors of subcontractor companies, a decision was made to involve the person who has organized this as a defendant and search was declared against him.
Necessary measures are taken to find out all circumstances of the case, the whole frame of those related to it.
Considering that the volume of the mentioned criminal case is unprecedented the investigative body consistently goes on with preliminary investigation cooperating with other law enforcement bodies to provide the comprehensive, objective and complete investigation, to reveal those having committed the apparent crime and to bring them to liability.
Preliminary investigation is ongoing.
Earlier ArmInfo reported that, on the basis of obtained facts, on September 4, 2018, the Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia opened a criminal case on the grounds of part 2 of Article 308 (abuse of official authority, entailing grave consequences through negligence) of the RA Criminal Code. Pre-trial proceedings are carried out by the Main Directorates for Particularly Important Cases of the RA Investigative Committee. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, as a result of a comprehensive study of the materials, it was revealed that officials involved in the development and implementation of the North-South Transport Corridor program during 2009-2018 in order to conceal facts indicating a clear ineffective management of the Program, to create an illusion of the implementation of the Program in accordance with its goals and objectives, based on personal and group interests, used their official position to the detriment of official obligations, as a result of which they harmed the legitimate interests of the state and society , which led to grave consequences. In particular, for about nine years in violation of the scheduled timelines, the construction work of the North-South highway was not completed, the goals and results expected from the program by citizens, the public and the state were not implemented in terms of reducing transportation time, creating a safe, high-quality highway and incentive for development economics and business connections. Moreover, the state suffered damage of 23.553.817.000 drams (about $ 48.69 million).
It was reported that in some cases, they raised priced by fixing in contracts for the provision of advisory services, a price that was twice the amount fixed in legal acts, unjustifiably making changes to the content and value of contracts, and added repeated or unnecessary activities to the services. As a result, consulting organizations were paid amounts in excess of those agreed. In addition, no measures were taken to comply with the composition and quality of the norms and standards of building materials, in particular, cement, as well as to exercise daily control over the implementation of work. As a result, despite the changes in the development document, as well as registered obvious shortcomings in construction work and concrete pavement, sections of the Yerevan-Artashat and Yerevan-Ashtarak Tranche 1 highways were commissioned. ArmInfo also reported that on the segment of the North-South transport corridor - Yerevan- Artashat, which was commissioned at the end of 2015, pits formed, and cracks formed in a number of areas. Meanwhile, according to the actual estimate of $ 2 million per 1 km the road was supposed to be magnificent. Work on this section was carried out by the Spanish company Corsan Corviam. The loan agreement for tranche-1 of the North-South Road Program was signed on October 12, 2009. The tranche price is $ 70.4 million - including taxes. According to current estimates, the construction of the entire 556-km North-South highway, which stretches from Bavra to Meghri, will cost more than $ 2 billion, since its only southern section, between the cities of Artashat and Meghri, will cost $ 1.5 billion according to preliminary estimates. Meanwhile, in September 2012, when the construction of the highway began, the amount called by the representatives of the Armenian government was more than half of that - $ 962 million.