Former Kyrgyz natural resources minister arrested

By bne IntelliNews April 17, 2013

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Kyrgyzstan's former natural resources minister, Zamirbek Esenamanov, has been arrested on accusations that he is connected to illegally issued mining licences.

The country's Corruption Control Service (CCS) said in an April 16 statement that a probe into the ministry's work had revealed that four licences had been illegally issued under Esenamanov, accoridng to reports in the Kyrgyz press.

Esenamanov headed the ministry's commission on subsurface management, which the CCS said had issued four licenses to develop the Kok-Zhangak coalfield without approval from the Kyrgyz government, 24.kg reports. The arrest comes a week after the former head of the State Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources and 11 colleagues were arrested over the same issue.

A criminal case has already been launched against Esenamanov and several other ministry officials. He was charged on April 15 and is being held in pre-trial detention until May 27.

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