Anti-Corruption | Mongolia |

Mongolia is putting its ex Prime Ministers behind bars

Admin | Published: 2020-08-8

Recent months have been harsh for former Prime Ministers of Mongolia who were involved in mining sectors in various ways.

Bayar Sanjaa – who gave green light to Oyu-Tolgoi Mining project, found guilty of unjust enrichment

S.Bayar, 25th Prime Minister of Mongolia

On July 23, 2020, Bayar Sanjaa, 25th Prime Minister of Mongolia was sentenced to 5 years behind bars. On top of that, he is also prohibited to work in public service for 2 years. On the said day, criminal court of Bayanzurkh, Sukhbaatar and Chingeltei district found him guilty of unjust enrichment for he couldn’t explain 5.5 billion tugrik ($1.9 million USD) income. From 2007 to 2009 he was a Prime Minister of Mongolia. One of the big accomplishments he managed to make while he was a PM was launching of Oyu-Tolgoi mining project.


Erdenebat Jargaltulga – for illegal involvement in mining licences

29th Prime Minister of Mongolia

Erdenebat Jargaltulga, who served as 29th Prime Minister of Mongolia for one year (from July 2016 to September 2017) was another PM who received imprisonment sentence from court. On July 9, 2020, district court of Ulaanbaatar found him guilty of malfeasance in office and sentenced him to 6 years behind bars and prohibited from serving public offices for another 6 years.

He was arrested while he was nominated for parliamentary election from Selenge province. Many people supported him and he even got elected to the new parliament in June, 2020. However, court didn’t allow him to participate in the inauguration meeting of the new parliament. And on July 6, he was sentenced to 6 years. Court found him guilty of illegal involvement in Tost and Toson Bumb mountain mining licences.


Enkhsaikhan Mendsaikhan – “I’m imprisoned for implementing Parliament’s decision”

18th Prime Minister (1996-1998) of Mongolia

On May 7, 2020, M.Enkhsaikhan, former PM of Mongolia was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months. Court found him guilty of malfeasance in office, incurred 55 million tugrik damage to public office (Ministry of Energy).

On August 6, 2020, his Twitter account tweeted “I’m denying the charges and will refer the case to higher level court”.


While not yet put behind the bars, another Prime Minister of Mongolia is currently seeking refuge from Mongolian law enforcement agencies in the USA.

Saikhanbileg Chimed – PM who fled out of the country

Ch.Saikhanbileg, 28th Prime Minister of Mongolia

After he was arrested on April 10, 2018, he managed to get out of the pre-detention center, thanks to some court paper works. Then he fled the country on August 28, 2019 and still haven’t returned to Mongolia. For some time he was listed on Interpol wanted list.

On July 20, 2020, he sent open letter to Mongolian media and expressed his positions on recent imprisonments of Mongolian Prime Ministers and accused Kh.Battulga, President of Mongolia of politically motivated imprisonments.

Ch.Saikhanbileg wrote: “Someday I hope to see a good time when I’m abide by a law not by you, Battulga”

He’s currently being accused of making unprofitable contracts for Mongolia with Oyu Tolgoi investors; and illegal privatization of Erdenet mining factory.


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