Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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Chairman Of Company Affiliated With Former Kazakh President's Daughter Arrested.

NUR-SULTAN -- The chairman of a company in Kazakhstan that collected hefty recycling fees from car owners across the country has been arrested on unspecified corruption charges.

Kazakhstan's Anti-Corruption Agency said on January 26 that Medet Qumarghaliev, the chairman of the Operator ROP company that is believed to be affiliated with former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's daughter, Aliya Nazarbaeva, had been arrested, along with Deputy Ecology Minister Akhmetzhan Pirimqulov.

The move comes on the same day that Kazakh lawmakers demanded an investigation into the company's operations to find out how Operator ROP had managed to run up revenues of 691.9 billion tenges ($1.58 billion) over five years.

President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has already ordered the government to shut down the company's operations and criticized Nazarbaev for creating "lucrative companies" and "extremely rich people."

Toqaev's statements came after anti-government protests -- spurred in part by the public's disgust with deep-rooted state corruption -- turned deadly earlier this month.

Also on January 26, Nur-Sultan city police said they had launched a probe into the death of Operator ROP Executive Director Ruslan Shamshiev.

Local media reports say Shamshiev was found dead in his office on January 25 in a suspected suicide.

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