BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Authorities have detained Kyrgyzstan's social development minister and one of his assistants on suspicion of seeking bribes in an apparent effort to display the government's anti-corruption credentials.
The State Committee for National Security said in statements yesterday that Ravshan Sabirov and his unnamed assistant are accused of extorting kickbacks over the past week.
The case involves the alleged attempt to solicit up to US$20,000 from an unidentified US company that is seeking accreditation as an adoption agency.
This impoverished Central Asian nation's economy has been hamstrung by rampant corruption, but high-level prosecutions for such crimes are rare.
Sabirov is a member of Ata-Meken, one of four political parties in the governing coalition.