Kazakh authorities detain former energy official in fuel price hike probe

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NUR-SULTAN, January 15. /TASS/. The Kazakh Financial Monitoring Agency apprehended former Deputy Minister of Energy Zhumabay Karagayev in a fuel price hike probe, the Agency’s press office reported on Saturday.

"The investigative team of the Financial Monitoring Agency’s Department for the Mangystau Region has apprehended [former] Deputy Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhumabay Karagayev, the heads of electronic trading platforms and persons complicit in the unsubstantiated liquefied petroleum gas price hikes in the Mangystau Region," the statement says.

A court of law has ruled to remand the former Kazakh energy official in custody for two months as a measure of restraint, the press office said.

The Kazakh government made a decision earlier on Saturday to dismiss Karagayev from the post of the deputy minister of energy.

Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2 over skyrocketing prices of liquefied gas, the main fuel for motor vehicles in Kazakhstan, escalating into mass riots with government buildings getting ransacked a few days later. The mass unrest escalated to assaults on the police, military personnel and government agencies in many cities of the country, primarily in Almaty.

The ensuing violence left thousands of people injured, with fatalities also being reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization requesting assistance from the Russia-led bloc. As a result, peacekeepers were deployed to Kazakhstan. Law and order, Kazakh authorities affirm, was restored to all of the country’s regions.

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