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Foreign Managers Of Kumtor Gold Leave Kyrgyzstan After Raid

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Kyrgyz authorities have confirmed reports that two foreigners who are vice presidents of the Kumtor Gold Company have left Kyrgyzstan after their firm came under investigation.

Sources in the Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL on May 2 that Kyrgyz authorities will call the two company managers back for questioning over the alleged illegal transfer of millions of dollars of the company's assets to foreign banks.

On April 29, media reports in Kyrgyzstan said the company's vice presidents, Mark Burton and Leslie Louw, left the country after the company's headquarters in Bishkek were raided and searched by authorities.

A majority of the Kumtor Gold Company is owned by the Canadian mining company Centerra Gold, which operates Kyrgyzstan's largest gold field -- Kumtor.

Local residents have staged several protests since 2012 to demand the nationalization of the Kumtor mine.

Talks between Centerra Gold and Kyrgyzstan's government on a possible share trade have been stalled since December.