by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
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Former prime minister of Mongolia

Sükhbaataryn Batbold

Offshore company with interests in a mining company in Mongolia

Related to  Mongolia
Data from: Panama Papers
Sükhbaataryn Batbold was prime minister of Mongolia from 2009 to 2012 and is currently a member of the Mongolian parliament. An executive in a wide array of telecommunications, trading and hotel companies before entering politics, Batbold was first appointed as deputy minister of foreign affairs in 2000. Between 2000 and 2009, when he became prime minister, Batbold served as a member of parliament, trade minister and foreign minister.

In the data

In November 2003 -- when he was deputy foreign minister -- Batbold became a shareholder of Batu Mining Limited, an offshore company created in the British Virgin Islands, according to documents. Batu Mining Limited was the owner of Batu Mining Mongolia LLC, a company with a wide array of international investors that has held copper and gold exploration licenses in Mongolia. In December 2005, Batbold, then minister for trade and industry, transferred his shares in the BVI company to Ever Legend Engineering Limited, a company based in Hong Kong.

Response

A representative of Batbold told ICIJ that Batbold invested in Batu Mining Mongolia LCC when “its BVI-registered head company was not yet registered in Mongolia (i.e. it did not have legal presence in the Mongolian jurisdiction). Therefore, Mongolian investors had to invest in the Mongolian company…The BVI head company was only registered in Mongolia in February 2004 (although the BVI company’s incorporation began late 2003), whereas the Mongolian Company was incorporated in the 3rd quarter of 2003, i.e. a couple of months before the formation of the BVI head company. His shareholding in the Company was always transparent.” “The choice of a BVI parent vehicle was the pre-condition of the foreign investors to invest in Mongolia,” said the representative. “This was not, and is not, a breach of any Mongolian law.” “It was legal then, as it is now for public officials to invest and own shares, with no restrictions… Mr. Batbold's business was created in the early 1990's many years before entering any public office. Since then business was conducted according to our local laws and by hired professionals.” “The project in question, as with all other Government registered and permitted offshore-headed projects, brought capital into Mongolia to create jobs and revenue,” the representative said.

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