Turkmenistan's president has complained that there is major corruption in the Central Asian country’s oil and gas industries, in an unusually public statement made on state television.
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov gave few details in his remarks to his cabinet, which occurred March 4 and was broadcast the following day on national television.
But he did single out former vice prime minister for the energy sector, Baymyrat Khodzhamukhamedov, who was removed from his post in November, reportedly for health reasons.
The president said Khodzhamukhamedov subsequently returned about $1.5 million he had allegedly taken in bribes.
Turkmenistan has some of the largest natural gas deposits in the world, and the country is tightly controlled by an authoritarian government that allows virtually no opposition.