Kumtor Gold says its top managers’ departure from Kyrgyzstan was long-planned

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Kumtor Gold Company has said that its two vice presidents — Mark Burton, Vice President, Finance, and Leslie Louw, Vice President, Procurement and Logistics — have left Kyrgyzstan to take their long-planned vacations that had been approved back in January and March 2016.

Kumtor Gold Company has pointed out that the Company is working according to its normal routine while President Daniel Desjardins remains in Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, none of Kumtor Gold Company’s top executives experiences any troubles traveling away from or to Kyrgyzstan, with none of them having ever given recognizance not to leave.

It was earlier reported that the two foreign vice presidents of the Kumtor Gold Company left Kyrgyzstan after their company had come under investigation by Kyrgyz authorities.

Sources in the Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General’s Office told RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service on May 2 that Kyrgyz authorities will call the two company managers back for questioning over the alleged illegal transfer of millions of dollars of the company’s assets to foreign banks.

On April 29, media reports in Kyrgyzstan said the company’s vice presidents, Mark Burton and Leslie Louw, left the country after the company’s headquarters in Bishkek were raided and searched by Kyrgyz authorities.

A majority of the Kumtor Gold Company is owned by the Canadian mining company Centerra Gold, which operates Kyrgyzstan’s largest gold field, Kumtor.

Talks between Centerra Gold and Kyrgyzstan’s government on a possible share trade have been stalled since December.

Centerra Gold has issued an official news release to notify all stakeholders concerned on the situation at the Bishkek office of Kumtor Gold Company (KGC), Centerra’s wholly-owned, Kyrgyz Republic subsidiary, where on the afternoon of April 28, a search was conducted by the General Prosecutor’s Office and other law-enforcement bodies, the purpose of which appears to be to collect documents relevant to a criminal case relating to alleged financial violations by KGC in connection with past inter-corporate transactions between KGC and Centerra.

Following the official news release of the company, trading in the securities of Centerra Gold was resumed in the previous amount on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Sergey Kwan

TCA