Mongolia Leader Dashzegve's Wife Gets $5m For Borteeg Coal

The wife of Mongolian politician Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve received $5m on behalf of her husband for the Borteeg Coal Mine.

Mongolian politician Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve

The Borteeg coal mine scandal, which has rocked Mongolia, sheds light on the complexities of the so-called "resource curse" and its profound political implications. At the heart of this controversy is Byambasuren Dashkhuu, the wife of Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve, a prominent figure in the Mongolian political landscape.

As originally reported on MSN.com, revelations of a $5 million transfer to Dashkhuu from Admineral LLC have intensified scrutiny on the interplay between political power and resource wealth in Mongolia.

The Borteeg Coal Mine Field

The Borteeg deposit, part of the expansive Tavantolgoi coal field, holds an estimated 424 million tons of high-quality coal. Initially, the Mongolian government aimed to develop Borteeg through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the East Tsankhi deposit. However, when this plan fell through, Borteeg was controversially awarded to "Admineral" LLC, a consortium with deep political ties, through a tender process involving only one bidder.

This dubious transaction raised alarms and sparked allegations of high-level corruption involving key political figures, including Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve, the General Secretary of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and head of the Cabinet Secretariat.


The $5 Million Transfer to Byambasuren Dashkhuu

The Borteeg scandal took a dramatic turn when a whistleblower revealed that Byambasuren Dashkhuu received $5 million via Golomt Bank on July 7th, 2022. The payment's timing and the recipient's political connections have fueled suspicions of corruption and nepotism. Official documents indicate that this transaction is linked to the dealings surrounding the Borteeg coal deposit and Admineral LLC.

Political Connections and Corruption

Admineral LLC ownership structure further complicates the issue. The company is partly owned by Ts. Lamjav, the elder brother of Ts. Chuluunzagd, a senior MPP official and close ally of Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve. This connection has raised questions about the integrity of the tender process that awarded the Borteeg deposit to Admineral. Despite Dashzegve’s denials of involvement, his association with individuals implicated in the scandal has drawn intense public and political scrutiny.

The Financial Trail

The financial implications of the scandal extend beyond the $5 million transfer to Dashkhuu. Admineral LLC also received a $30 million investment from "Hong Kong Ruishen Global Group" under the guise of building a coal processing plant. This large, unexplained cash inflow has raised suspicions of money laundering and international corruption.

The Mongolian government has sought Interpol's assistance to investigate these funds, indicating the scandal's potential far-reaching implications.

Systemic Corruption and Public Outcry

The Borteeg coal mine scandal highlights systemic corruption issues within Mongolia's resource management sector. It underscores how political elites exploit resource wealth for personal gain, exacerbating public discontent and undermining trust in governance. Several officials tied to the scandal, including former executives of the state-owned Erdenes Tavantolgoi and the National Transportation Center, are accused of facilitating and covering up the misappropriation of coal resources.

Public outrage is mounting as citizens demand transparency and accountability. The scandal has ignited calls for comprehensive reforms to combat corruption and ensure fair resource management. As Mongolia approaches its next parliamentary elections, the government faces immense pressure to address these allegations convincingly.

Political Implications

The implications of the Borteeg coal mine scandal are significant. It highlights the urgent need for Mongolia to confront and address the "resource curse" that has plagued its economy and political system. The scandal exposes the vulnerabilities in the country’s governance and the ease with which resource wealth can be misappropriated by those in power.

Dr. Enkhbayar Munkhbat, a political analyst at UCLA, comments on the issue: “The pattern of nepotism and favoritism in this case is troubling. The involvement of high-ranking officials in such schemes erodes public trust and undermines the rule of law.”

The $5 million transfer to Byambasuren Dashkhuu has become a symbol of the broader corruption and mismanagement issues facing Mongolia. It serves as a reminder of the critical need for transparency, accountability, and robust legal frameworks to manage natural resources effectively and equitably.

The Borteeg coal mine scandal, particularly the $5 million transfer to Byambasuren Dashkhuu, underscores the critical juncture Mongolia faces.

As the nation grapples with the consequences of the resource curse, the public's demand for accountability and transparency has never been more crucial. This scandal presents an opportunity for Mongolia to address systemic corruption and strive towards a future marked by equitable and sustainable development. The outcome will likely shape the political and economic trajectory of the country for years to come.

Disclaimer: The above is a contributor post, the views expressed are those of the contributor and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.