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Deputy Speaker resigns following offshore account scandal

Published Wednesday April 17, 2013

 

By B.BYAMBADORJ

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Sangajav Bayartsogt, resigned from his government position on Monday, in the wake of a scandal over a Swiss bank account owned by the member of parliament.

On 15 April S.Bayartsogt handed in a request to be relieved from his position, the Unuudur newspaper reported yesterday. His resignation was reportedly accepted by the Democratic Party yesterday, news website InfoMongolia reported.

The former finance minister’s resignation is believed to stem from an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that revealed earlier this month that S.Bayartsogt had an offshore bank account in Switzerland. S.Bayartsogt failed to declare in the official disclosure statements required for Mongolian public officials his Swiss account and an offshore company he had established in 2008, which was used to open the bank account.

The report by the ICIJ said that S.Bayartsogt’s offshore account once held over 1 million US dollars.

S.Bayartsogt held a press conference shortly after his offshore account was exposed, and said that he and his “business friends” had held money in the account to trade international stocks. The money was then withdrawn, due to the unfavorable economic conditions, and about 3 million MNT was left in the account, which he declared in his disclosure statement. But he said he failed to declare the offshore company, explaining that this was because the venture had reportedly not produced any income. He said he should be held accountable for not including the name of the taxable offshore company in his financial disclosure report, and says he is ready to accept any punishment for his mistake.

Following a long meeting by the parliamentary members of the Democratic Party, it was decided that S.Bayartsogt should be punished for his immoral behavior.

S.Bayartsogt became Mongolia’s finance minister in September 2008 and held the position until a cabinet reshuffle in August 2012.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=3715

Posted by on Apr 24 2013. Filed under Domestic, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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