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Kumtor case: Centerra's executives put on wanted list

The former executives of the Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc. (Centerra) and the management of Kumtor Gold Company have been put on the wanted list within the criminal case on Kumtor. Press center of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan reported.

It is clarified that the investigation obtained evidence of the involvement of the top management of the Canadian company Centerra and the operator of the Kumtor mine, Kumtor Gold Company, from among foreign citizens, in embezzlement of $200 million in December 2013 and their transfer to the account of a foreign company.

«In 2013, the management of the company, in collusion with the management of Kumtor Gold Company, transferred $200 million from the company under the guise of fictitious debt obligations and their subsequent write-off as dividends. The investigation convicted the former president of Centerra Ian Atkinson, ex-president and chairman of the Board of Kumtor Gold Company Michael Fisher and Andrei Sazanov, respectively, as well as the Vice President for Finance of Kumtor Operating Company John Suter of a criminal offence in absentia and put on the wanted list,» the State Committee for National Security reported.

The day before, ex-prime minister of Kyrgyzstan Dzhoomart Otorbaev was detained within the Kumtor case.

The SCNS is investigating the criminal cases on Kumtor. The beginning of June was marked by high-profile arrests. Former and current deputies of Parliament Torobai Zulpukarov, Iskhak Pirmatov were placed in the SCNS remand prison for two months. Iskhak Pirmatov was later sentenced to a fine. The court also ruled to arrest the ex-prime minister Omurbek Babanov, former speaker of Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov and the first vice prime minister Taiyrbek Sarpashev.

The ex-prime minister Temir Sariev was detained on August 3. Their supporters believe these arrests are politically motivated.

Three former deputies Talant Uzakbaev, Almazbek Baatyrbekov and Iskhak Pirmatov were released from custody. They entered into a plea bargain.

The preventive measure was also changed for Omurbek Babanov.

Former president of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev, who visited Kyrgyzstan, also agreed to cooperate with the investigation within the Kumtor case.

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