ULAANBAATAR, December 8. /TASS/. A former CEO of a state-run coal mining and export company, his family and several other businessmen were arrested for 48 hours following searches conducted at their houses last night, Mongolian Justice and Internal Affairs Minister Khishgeegiin Nyambaatar said at a briefing in Ulaanbaatar.
Protests over an ongoing investigation into coal exports have been held in the Mongolian capital for a fifth day already.
"A working group to support the investigation was established as part of a case on the theft of coal. It convened its debut meeting on Wednesday. The investigation intensified after the meeting of the working group. Last night, eight people were arrested," including a former executive director of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, the minister said at a special briefing.
Also, the businessman’s wife, sister and son-in-law were arrested, as well the head of a department at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, and the chief executives and owners of two private businesses.
"Searches are ongoing at the homes and offices of these people. A number of top managers at Khishig Arvin Industrial, a mining operator, were also arrested," the Justice Minister added.
Investigators from all across the country are involved in the investigation as part of the large-scale case. On Thursday morning, detectives, experts, customs officials and border control officers departed for the Omnogovi Province in southern Mongolia where Tavan Tolgoi, the world’s largest coking coal deposit, is located.
According to Nyambaatar, the investigation should not delay coal exports. "Coal buyers should have no worries," he assured.