Dear guests, dear colleagues
Let me greet you and thank you for accepting our invitation and hosting us on this holiday.
Today is the 11th anniversary of the RA Special Investigation Service and though the day is not officially included in the list of professional holidays, following the tradition the officers of the service celebrate it as the Day of the Special Investigation Service Officer. On this occasion I congratulate the entire staff of the Service.
The Special Investigative Service of the Republic of Armenia was established in 2007 as a preliminary investigation body with a special mission. It is established to solve such issues, which concern assurance of law in the most important areas of public life among which I would especially like to highlight fight against corruption, the prevention of torture and the free exercise of electoral rights. These are the areas the importance of which in public life is difficult to overestimate, and therefore, the responsibility that the service has assumed before the public is huge.
Today, I can note with satisfaction that the officers of the service are deeply conscious of the officially implemented mission, especially for our country, during this transitional period.
A striking example thereof is that over the past six months, the investigators' burden has increased by more than one hundred percent, the officers of the service are forced to work thirteen-fourteen hours a day, in some cases even longer, often without weekends, but no one of them grumbles, no one complaints, for which I want to express my gratitude to all the officers of the service, including the staff.
The Service employs unparalleled principles: a competent, hard-working, principled and honest officer is promoted, and vice versa, no forgiveness to irresponsible attitude towards work, and dishonesty, no matter of what kind it is.
During this time, we had promoted officers who had been good at work, and there were also punished ones, including people who are no longer in the service. I wish we would not have the opportunity to speak of the punishment during the next year's summarizing.
Over the years, I have been convinced that honest and purposeful work done by devotees can not be ineffective. And I believe it is beyond doubt that only devotees become good investigators and record success. The investigator for whom the investigation is merely a paid job, whose working day begins at 9:00 and ends at 18:00, regardless of his urgent actions to do and who is no longer involved in his works after closing the door of the office, can not succeed in this field.
I have my own formula of investigation efficiency: eighty percent of the effectiveness of the investigation is the competence of the investigator, diligence and sense of responsibility, and the remaining twenty percent is the daily supervision of his superiors, the proper supervision of the prosecutor's, the incidents that are independent of the investigator's will, including success, how strange it may sound. And with an interesting coincidence almost always the good comes to competent and diligent investigator.
In this regard, I can say that most of the service investigators comply with these standards and are constantly working to raise the professionalism of other investigators. Service investigators attend qualification trainings held in the Republic of Armenia and broad.
The fact that the investigators employed in the service most often meet the criteria I have set, is proven by the success that has been recorded over the past few months during a series of preliminary investigations of public sound criminal cases. In order to understand the real volume of works and achieved results I would like to indicate some figures. Thus, during the last 6 months more than 1000 persons have been interviewed on the incidents taken place on March 1; more than 40 searches have been conducted. The officers of the Service made around 85 confiscations from citizens and different state institutions, 23 expert examinations were appointed, including hard, complex expertise. 146 items of firearms and a huge number of ammunition were presented for expertise. We can have the real picture of the huge volume of works performed by the investigators on a single criminal case, if in line with this we consider participation of the investigators on court sessions on complaints investigated in the scope of judicial supervision, participations on courts sessions held with regard to the petitions filed by investigators, the number of which exceeds one hundred, solution of hundreds of applications and motions,
The effect on so called “Zibiliks” case was also unique in the history of Armenia. It was for the first time, when the chain of systematic election related frauds was justified during the preliminary investigation. During the recovered preliminary investigation of the said criminal case, namely in June – September this year, more than 200 persons were interviewed, 14 petitions were filed to the court for obtaining permits to conduct searches, intelligent investigation measures, to decode cell phone calls,, to obtain information constituting bank secrecy, and applying taking into custody as a measure of restriction. A number of searches have been carried out at different addresses at a time, 61 examinations, confiscations, confrontations have been conducted, about a dozen of tasks have been given to investigation bodies.
Based on evidence obtained as a result of investigative and procedural actions, as well as on the result of operative-intelligence activities carried out by RA National Security Service and the police it was justified that the head of the RPA Arabkir district office and the director of the SAS supermarket chain in the first ten days of May 2017, gave an electoral bribe in the amount equivalent to about USD 130,000, to the voters of the area in the amount of ten thousand drams each, through the heads of their headquarters, to vote for the candidate of Mayor of the city nominated by the Republican Party of Armenia.
The above-mentioned two persons, as well as nine persons supported them in giving bribery were charged for committing the above-mentioned criminal offenses, under relevant articles of the Criminal Code, and the criminal case on eleven accused with an indictment was sent to the court. By the way, it should be noted that all the accused found themselves guilty of their charges. The trial is not over yet. In order to find out the whole scope of people involved in the crime, the preliminary investigation on the criminal case is still underway.
A great deal of work has been done on Manvel Grigoryan's criminal case.
Since June 15, 2018 till now more than 200 people have been interviewed on this case, 72 searches and confiscations have been conducted.
I would like to mention that as a result of investigative activities conducted with regard to 200 real property title certificates registered on the names of different physical persons and organizations confiscated from the private house of Manvel Grigoryan it was found that the significant part of the mentioned real properties was acquired with the violations of law, and with this regard I addressed a letter to the Minister of RA Territorial Administration and Development on commencing the process of return of 40 real properties to the community. The legitimacy of acquisition of the remaining properties is being checked.
Bank accounts of 4 accused persons have been blocked, 12 expertise were appointed, a part of which is complex. International legal requests were sent to 15 countries. Financial economic and tax monitoring were appointed in 7 companies, according to the preliminary results of which the volume of the financial fraud is around 1 billion AMD, and the criminally prosecuted persons expressed their willingness to recover it.
The Service also investigates criminal cases involving illicit enrichment of former officials and false declarations, money laundering; and a large number of investigative requests wer sent to other countries to detect the assets of those individuals.
Material loss of 139 million AMD was actually recovered on the criminal cases currently being investigated in the Service, three hundred units real estate at the value of 14.685.000 USD, 221.000 EUR and 219.300.000 AMD was banned.
As of November 27, 2018 the investigators of the Service have investigated 697 criminal cases, 570 of which were solved, including 86 criminal cases with regard to 155 persons were sent to the court with indictment, preliminary investigation on 127 cases is underway.
I am convinced that in the near future indictments will be made on the said cases and sent to the court, after solution of the cases these huge funds will be directed to the state budget.
In addition to the case of great public interest, many other criminal cases have also been investigated, including large-scale and complicated cases. As of November 27, 2018 the investigators of the Service have investigated 697 criminal cases, 570 of which were solved, including 86 criminal cases with regard to 155 persons were sent to the court with indictment, preliminary investigation on 127 cases is underway.
During the same period, 2,520 applications were received and discussed at the service. By the way, in January-April, 598 applications were filed in the RA Special Investigation Service, that is, the average number of registered applications was 149 monthly, in May-November we received 1922 applications, that is, 275 applications in a month or more by 85 %. Of course such an increase in the number of applications, proves the increase of citizens' confidence in the service, and although the load has increased, such a circumstance should be regarded as a positive indicator.
During the reporting period, the service closely cooperated with the National Security Service, the Police, the Prosecutor's Office, the Investigation Committee, the State Revenue Committee, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, and other agencies, from which we have always received proper support, and without which we would not have such results. In this regard, I express my gratitude to our partners.
In the course of its activities, the Service also collaborated with state, local self-governing bodies and organizations with different forms of ownership. We have always felt the Prime Minister and Government's care for the service and its issues, for which I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Government of Armenia on behalf of the Service.
The service will continue to perform its functions with the same enthusiasm and devotion. I am convinced that in the near future we will have more achievements. I believe the Service is accomplished with competent and honest persons devoted to their work and ready to perform the issues with honor.