Kyrgyzstan detains ex-prime minister in mine corruption case

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MOSCOW (AP) — Kyrgyzstan’s security services have detained a former prime minister in connection with an investigation of corruption involving the huge gold mine that is the country’s largest taxpayer. A statement from the State Committee for National Security did not give details of the potential charges against Omurbek Babanov, who was prime minister in 2011-12. Kyrgyz media reported that Asylbek Jeenbekov, a brother of the former president, also was detained Monday. The investigation centers on the Kumtor gold mine, which has long been a controversial operation in Kyrgyzstan because of alleged environmental violations and strong sentiment that the government should nationalize it. The mine accounts for more than 12% of the former Soviet Central Asian country’s economy, according to Centerra.

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