Kazakh authorities detain ex-energy official amid fuel price hike probe – Reuters

NUR-SULTAN, January 15. /TASS/. The Kazakh Financial Monitoring Agency has detained former deputy energy minister Zhumabay Karagayev in connection with an investigation into rising fuel prices, the agency’s press office reported on Saturday.

“The investigation team of the department of the Financial Supervisory Agency for the Mangystau region apprehended [former] Deputy Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhumabay Karagayev, officials of e-commerce platforms and people complicit in the unfounded increases in the prices of liquefied petroleum gas in the Mangystau region,” the statement said.

A court decided to detain the former Kazakh energy official for two months as a coercive measure, the press office said.

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

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

The ensuing violence left thousands injured and deaths were also reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization to seek help from the Russian-led bloc. As a result, peacekeepers were deployed to Kazakhstan. Law and order, say the Kazakh authorities, have been restored in all regions of the country.

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