As reported by Reuters and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ), Mongolia’s former finance Minister Bayartsogt Sangajav has been arrested as part of an investigation into suspected abuse of power during investment talks for the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in 2009.
|Operations Oyu Tolgoi mine, Mongolia. Copyright ©2017 Rio Tinto|
The Deputy Speaker of Mongolia’s Parliament admits he had a secret Swiss account and an offshore company.
As reported in Reuters, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is conducting a criminal investigation into a seized bank account that court documents indicated was used to transfer $10 million to Bayartsogt in September 2008.
Bayartsogt signed an agreement on behalf of Mongolia with Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines in 2009 to develop the giant mine, granting a 66% controlling stake to the company.
Ivanhoe Mines subsequently changed its name to Turquoise Hill Resources and is now majority-owned by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.
Mongolia’s anti-corruption authority said it was not only investigating the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement, but also a financing deal for the underground expansion of the mine signed by Turquoise Hill, Rio Tinto and the government of Mongolia in Dubai in 2015.