The head of Kazakhstan's Unified Pension Fund and the director of the fund's financial department have been arrested on corruption charges.
The district court in Almaty said on January 9 that Unified Pension Fund chief Ruslan Erdenaev and the head of the fund's financial operations, Musa Bakhtov, had been placed in pretrial detention for two months on charges of embezzlement.
Along with Erdenaev and Bakhtov, the chief executive officers of two private mineral extraction firms in Kazakhstan also have been arrested in the case and placed in pretrial detention for two months.
They are Baqytzhan Kenzhebaev from the firm AlatauMunaiAltyn and Azat Naizagarin from the Buzgul Aurum company.
Kazakhstan's Committee for National Security has said that it launched an investigation on December 21 into the alleged illegal investment by the Unified Pension Fund of 5 billion tenges -- more than $14.8 million-- into the activities of the AlatauMunaiAltyn and Buzgul Aurum companies.
The Unified Pension Fund is Kazakhstan's main state-run pension fund for workers in both the state and private sectors.