Billions seeped away: protests in Ulan Bator

In Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, demonstrators stormed a government building yesterday. There had been protests the day before. The reason is the disappearance of the equivalent of around 12.8 billion US dollars in public funds from coal exports to China.

The Minister for Economic Development, Khurelbaatar Chimed, confirmed that these funds were illegally diverted, “Powerful figures and officials” were involved in the case. The managing director of the state-owned mining company, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, was fired in October without giving a reason.

However, the demonstrators are demanding that those responsible be identified and punished. Numerous videos on social media showed protesters blocking the capital’s busiest street, Peace Avenue, and eventually entering a government building.

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