Law Enforcement Officers against Oil Workers
Over the past several months, Turkmenistan’s law-enforcement agencies have been investigating oil companies, both local and foreign, operating in the coastal area of the Caspian Sea. In September, in Balkanabat, the administrative centre of the country’s western province, a court sentenced eight oil field experts to lengthy prison terms and confiscated their property. According to the court’s verdict, damage caused by the convicted individuals, which included employees of foreign companies, was estimated at millions of dollars.
A joint commission from the Ministry of the Interior, the National Security Minister, and General Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate, looking into the activities of the Khazar consortium and its business unit Mitro International, ltd., which operates in the Eastern Cheleken oil field. According to reports from local sources, one of the consortium employees under investigation died from a heart attack and another committed suicide. Both were mid-level managers from the oil industry. According to observers, the investigation was launched and initiated by the management of Concern Turkmennebit (Turkmen Oil) which is trying to pass responsibility for losses due to their own negligence to other companies, including foreign ones, such as Dragon Oil (UAE) and Petronas (Malaysia), which are operating in this part of Turkmenistan.
Few details of the case are provided. However, several Balkanabat residents attended the court proceedings and said that the charges were absurd and that witnesses refused to confirm testimony provided during the investigation. Nevertheless, the oil workers were convicted.
Source: Turkmenistan Chronicles