YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The National Security Service (NSS) has accused about a dozen companies supplying weapons and other items to the Armenian military of large-scale fraud.
In a statement released late on Thursday, the NSS said that from 2009 through 2017 they signed with the Defense Ministry procurement contracts worth a total of more than 10 billion drams ($20.7 million). It said they failed to meet their supply deadlines or supplied the ministry with low-quality products at inflated prices.
“Necessary audits and forensic examinations have been ordered to calculate precise damage inflicted on the state,” added the statement.
The NSS did not name any of those suppliers as of Friday afternoon. According to its statement, the investigation was launched on the basis of “documentary facts” provided to the security agency by an adviser to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.
Nobody is understood to have been formally charged yet.
“It is evident that there are systemic corruption risks in the Defense Ministry and this inquiry seems to bear out that conclusion,” said Artak Manukian, an economist who also advises Pashinian.
Manukian has for years alleged such “risks” in the administration of Defense Ministry procurements. Earlier this week Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan admitted the existence of such a “problem” and pledged to address it.