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'Turkmenbashi' Sacks Oil Company Head For Bribe Taking

President Niyazov (file photo) 13 August 2005 -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has fired Saparmamet Valiev, the head of state oil company Turkmenneft, and accused him of taking bribes from a foreign company.

The official daily "Neitralny Turkmenistan" reported today that Valiev was sacked "for serious work-related violations and abuse of his official position."

The newspaper said Niyazov accused Valiev of receiving $1,500 in monthly payments from an unnamed foreign company linked to Turkmenneft.

Several foreign companies operate in Turkmenistan on the basis of production-sharing agreements.

The newspaper says Valiev also stands accused of exaggerating oil production figures and undersupplying the city of Turkmenbashi's refinery on the Caspian Sea coast in western Turkmenistan.

Valiev had been in charge of Turkmenneft since 1997.