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Several Kazakh Health Officials Arrested On Bribery Charges

Four senior health officials in Kazakhstan have been arrested on charges of bribe-taking.

The Central Asian nation's Anticorruption Bureau said on July 10 that the acting chairwoman of the Health Ministry’s Pharmacy Committee, Larisa Pak; one of her subordinates; and two regional pharmacy officials were charged with accepting some $30,500 in bribes from a pharmaceutical company.

The director of the Zerde pharmaceutical company was also arrested for allegedly giving the bribe. All the suspects were detained on July 3. Later four of them were sent to pretrial detention and one was placed under house arrest.

Investigators say the officials accepted bribes to advance the pharmacy company's interests.

Several former Kazakh officials have faced prosecution on suspicion of graft in recent years, with some sentenced to long prison terms.

Based on reporting by Kazinform, Tengrinews, and KazTAG