PRESS RELEASE

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

July 07, 2017

Contact person: OYUNGEREL Tsedevdamba and DORJZODOV Ganbold

email: oyungerel.gel@gmail.com, dorjzodov@gmail.com

 

THE 60 BILLION SCANDAL IN ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA

Political corruption in Mongolia on an unprecedented scale

The so-called “Sixty Billion Case” was the hot topic of conversation throughout the recent Presidential Campaign in Mongolia (the election itself was indecisive and there will be a runoff on July 9).

There were speeches, TV interviews, statements in the press, books, leaflets, videos, audios, caricatures, social media hashtags, Facebook live events, police stake-outs, whistleblower hide-outs, witness-protection efforts, explosive interviews, a website (and hacking of websites), and even a hip-hop song about the 60 billion.

However international media have remained largely silent about this case. In addition, mainstream media outlets in Mongolia have been silent for a quite a long time due to ‘shut-up contracts’ (which need no explanation).

There has been no press release in English and the absence of an explanatory press release might explain media silence beyond our borders

 

WHAT IS THE  ‘60 BILLION’ CASE?

The '60 Billion Case" is a political party-directed, all-level corruption scheme that involves Miyegombo Enkhbold, the Chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and a presidential candidate.

On September 8 2014, the current Speaker of the Parliament, then a Member of Parliament, Mr. Enkhbold went to the fourth floor of the Shine Mongol Khaad Group company to attend a series of presentations prepared by Mr. T. Sandui, the chairman of the Ulaanbaatar City committee of the MPP.

Mr. A. Ganbaatar, the director of the Shine Mongol Khaad Group Co. LLC and member of the Small Khural (Conference) of MPP, was present during the entire session as the host of the event. There were four presenters: Mr. Sandui, Mr. Ganbaatar, Mr. Ankhbayar (the IT man and a hacker) and Mr. Dorjzodov, a political analyst.

Mr. Dorjzodov, a newly hired chief strategy officer of Shine Mongol Khaad Group, attended the entire event as the only assistant. His role was to display presentations on a screen and to make notes from the presentations.

Mr. Dorjzodov recorded the entire three-hour event on his iPad. The first half of the event was just waiting for the most important guest, Mr. Enkhbold.

The second half of the event became the scandal that we are discussing today.

Due to the unlawful content of the discussion at the above-mentioned meeting, Mr.Dorjzodov exposed a small part of it online on June 17 2016, namely, a two-minute presentation by Mr. Sandui and Mr. Ganbaatar - Mr. Ganbaatar used the words ‘Sixty Billion’ for the first time.

He and Mr. Sandui promised Mr. Enkhbold that they will raise 60 billion tugriks ($25 million, approximately; the average monthly income in Mongolia is $250) for the MPP by selling thousands of government positions in advance of the next parliamentary election (held on June 29, 2016; see below for a translation of this short audio).

This audio immediately went viral on Mongolian social and mainstream media, becoming known as the “60 Billion” case.

What Mr. Sandui said in the two minutes of the audiotape revealed the entire character of the former Communist Party’s high-level political corruption scheme. Later, on May 6 2017, Mr. Dorjzodov release 90 minutes of the audio in which details of the corruption scheme of “60 Billion” were included.

Here is a translation of part of the initial 2-min audio of the “60 billion” case;  three small segments of the entire conversation are shown below:

Segment 1:

Ganbaatar: Okay, Sandui please explain this.

Sandui: So, we developed a financial scheme. Ganbaatar talked about it before. We are saying that we should put numbers for our future profit. We researched every potential person. We listed all potential positions of the government agencies, ministries, administrations, legislative bodies, law enforcers, and local bodies. Now there should be confidentiality with respect to who will take these positions and how much these positions should cost. So, we will give them a secret order, “if you take this position, you will have five employees below you and you should raise this much money together with your people.”

Enkhbold: Have you also prepared this for the City [Ulaanbaatar] too?

Sandui: We did. Yes, we did. All is ready. We will show you after this. All these will be broken down on spreadsheets. We are showing only this just because it is easy to grasp this way. We have first, second and third schemes of financing. The first financing comes from all our members fees. But, in terms of that, we calculated that we will do that at a certain organization to the level of a division chair and a senior specialist. We didn’t count on specialists. We are putting price on senior specialists, division chairs, director with the finance power, vice-directors etc... and we will promise to our people a place on these positions early on and... of course we will replace people at every level of organization...and this is an idea to provide jobs to all of our people. Well, how much did we aim to raise this way?

Ganbaatar: Well, from the city alone we will raise 60 billion.

Ganbaatar: Now look, here we can see “Chairman of the Cabinet Secretariat”. He has several staff below him. Hey, where’s that one with that thing? The one with numbers? Okay, here, now we can see it with the numbers, it has all the numbers and tallies: this means individuals, the ones we’ll collect things from. So, for example this Division of Legal Matters, so we have its

higher chair, the division chair and the senior specialist...that’s how it goes. This one. We will be talking only to this one. Look how they are all displayed this way. In a consistent system…

Enkhbold: So, one should ...from his three persons...you know…

Ganbaatar: Exactly. One will bring.

Sandui: Will concentrate.

Ganbaatar: What will happen is that we will tell the money amount only to this one person. We’ll tell him “you must bring this amount”, yeah?

Segment 2:

Enkhbold: Now we have exactly that thing going on. “I have so and so tugriks for the ‘12 election, and where did my money go? I came outside the party office and I gave away my bag of money to the inside.”

Segment 3:

Sandui: Currently, the most messy one is NAMZH, you know. [NAMZH is the MPP’s Youth Association]

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BE A MINISTER IN THE FORMER COMMUNIST PARTY CABINET?

Three main pieces of evidence were spread online when the 60 billion scandal was exposed in Mongolia. Among the evidence was a Microsoft Excel document, with multiple spread sheets, showing the financial scheme.

According spread sheets, a total of 8276 positions within 317 government bodies and 100 state-owned enterprises were to be sold at pre-determined tariffs. Among them 778 positions from the land, mining and oil-related agencies, 775 positions from the taxation and customs offices, and 950 positions from the health and welfare agencies were listed to be sold.

All positions that were “open for sale” were considered to represent a reliable network of corruption. Each of 8276 persons in the network was obliged to collect bribes from at least 5 persons under their authority. In total, the 60 billion scheme was meant to be a network of at least 41380 corrupt officials.

Moreover, the 60 billion scheme spread sheet shows that the MPP was planning to extract 2 billion tugriks (approx. one million dollars) from each of 10 foreign investors to raise 20 billion out of the 60 billion.

Also, there was a separate spread sheet for foreign corrupt individuals and companies, on which the Party listed ‘what to give away’ for each bribe: licenses and possession of shares in mining; meat, copper, petroleum, market share in processing industry; railroad, paved road and air transportation in infrastructure; land and licensing in construction; and wholesale market.

It was also planned that the fundraiser will collect 10-15% from the bribes extracted from the foreigners, and 50% of the remaining funds will go to the Ulaanbaatar City committee of the Mongolian People’s Party.

Of course, when all these discussions were exposed, Mongolian citizens were outraged. But more and more outrageous facts kept emerging from the files.

One of the most talked-about issues was the tariff for each government position that was on sale.

Here is a translation of the tariffs in tugriks, with approximate values in dollars.

Position

Price to buy the position in tugriks

Average annual salary on the position in tugriks

Minister

             1,000,000,000

(approx. 400,000 USD)

18,000,000

(approx. 7200  USD)

Vice Minister

                 500,000,000

(approx. 200,000 USD)

12,000,000

(approx. 4800 USD)

State Secretary of a Ministry

                 800,000,000

(approx. 320,000 USD)

11,400,000

(approx. 4560 USD)

Director (of a government agency)

                 300,000,000

(approx. 120,000 USD)

9,600,000

(approx. 3840 USD)

General director

                 300,000,000

(approx. 120,000 USD)

99,600,000- 60,000,000

(approx. 3840-24000 USD)

Vice director

                 100,000,000

(approx. 40,000 USD)

9,600,000- 24,000,000

(approx. 3840-9600 USD)

Executive director

                 100,000,000

(approx. 40,000 USD)

9,600,000- 24,000,000

(approx. 3840-9600 USD)

General engineer

                   50,000,000

(approx. 20,000 USD)

9,600,000- 24,000,000

(approx. 3840-9600 USD)

Department Chair

                   50,000,000

(approx. 20,000 USD)

9,600,000

(approx. 3840 USD)

Vice Chairman

                   20,000,000

(approx. 8,000 USD)

9,600,000

(approx. 3840 USD)

Finance officer

                   20,000,000

(approx. 8,000 USD)

9,600,000

(approx. 3840 USD)

Division chair

                   15,000,000

(approx. 6,000 USD)

9,600,000

(approx. 3840 USD)

Senior Specialist

                   10,000,000

(approx. 4,000 USD)

9,600,000

(approx. 3840 USD)

 

THE “OFFICIAL” DENIAL AND CENSORSHIP CAMPAIGN AROUND THE 60 BLN CASE

Presidential candidate Enkhbold and his MPP PR team spent millions of tugriks in an unprecedented denial campaign directed against the 60 bln case. The main evidence was nicknamed ‘spliced-together editing’ from its beginning -- when the scandal was exposed in June 2016.

During the presidential race, there were continuous and persistent denials combined with a new form of censorship, the so-called “Shut-up contract”. A Shut-up contract is a lucrative deal in which the media promises not to speak about a particular issue or a particular person’s weak sides.  It was “invented” by then Prime Minister Batbold Sukhbaatar (2009-2012), who, according to the Panama Papers (https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/14082020) has an offshore bank account.

As soon as the 90-min audiotape was exposed on social media on May 6 2017, many Mongolian ainstream television stations and most daily newspapers acted as if they had signed shut-up contracts on the 60 bln case. The only reports about the whistleblower in the 60-bln case were a few minutes of a campaign broadcast by the Democratic Party and C1 television’s programs.

However, the MPP’s position, i.e. the denial of the 60bln case, received disproportionately large attention from all media outlets. If any television station aired a program that mentioned the ‘60bln case’, they immediately received warnings to shut down the station. During this year’s election campaign TV9 and C1 got almost shut down.

The Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection issued a warning lette to all Mongolian TV stations on July 3, in which they reported that the Authority decided to close TV9 because of the content of a number of programs, including the one about “60 bln” or in Mongolian, “60 тэрбум”. At the same time the government agency advised the TV stations not to show the “picture or name” of any of the presidential candidates prior to the run-off election to be held on July 7.

To protect the TV stations, those people who had outspokenly criticized the 60 bln corruption scheme signed a statement that they will be responsible, and not the TV stations, for their interviews, if the authorities pressure the TV stations. For example, former MP Oyungerel Tsedevdamba affirmed that she will be responsible for the content of her broadcasts and that Lkha TV can give her contact information to any authority that questions the TV station for letting her speak on the air.

While news of the 60-bln case was strongly censored in the media, the main news of the story reached the public via Facebook Live and campaign rallies only.Major Facebook live-event makers included Asashoryu Dagvadorj, a sumo grand champion (nicknamed the ASA station throughout the campaign) and Munkhbayasgalan Bayasgalan, a famous journalist. Munkhbayasgalan Bayasgalan’s live facebook broadcast from Oyungerel’s press conference reached 105,000 viewers in 24 hours. Oyungerel and Altangerel (a lawyer) announced the results of the Expert Analysis on Audio Recording of the 90-min audiotape to the audience of six television stations, four newspapers and five websites and one live-event maker.

However, after the TV reporters left the press conference, an official called to TV9 and warned ‘We have issued a decision to close your station and we shall execute it if your TV station airs Oyungerel’s press conference’. A TV9 staff immediately wrote to his friend on the Democratic Party staff, apologizing that the TV station would not air the content of the press conference. Likewise, four other TV stations didn’t air the press conference reportage. Only the MNC and C1 television stations aired the content.

Here are the links to small portions of videos where Presidential andidate Enkhbold, MPP officials, parliament members and ministers, law enforcers and the MPP PR contractors insisted that ‘60 bln audio was a spliced-together editing, but not a real tape.

2016.06.24

Statement by Sandui Ts.- UB city MPP committee chair

https://youtu.be/gT6jSUxX9Po

2016.06.25

Statement by Amarbayasgalan D. General Secretary of MPP

https://youtu.be/WrR5rDjKbQ0

2016.06.27

Statement by Enkhbold M., Chairman of MPP

https://youtu.be/eElNMByVbPE

2016.06.27

Debate statement by Enkhbold M.

https://youtu.be/lzPIJTlSJz4

2016.07.06

Statement by Sandui Ts. Chair of The Capital City Council.

https://youtu.be/9g7y91VoXbo

2017.04.12

Interview by Amarbayasgalan, General Secretary of MPP

http://enerel.niitlelch.mn/content/8439.shtml

2017.05.07

Paid ad by MPP that shows how an edited material can be prepared on a sensation of “350 million” kind of case.

https://youtu.be/7ArwEGxsprM

2017.06.06

Statement by MP Nyambaatar

https://youtu.be/w3Mo0q7c79M

2017.06.09

Recording of Ganbaatar A, a participant of 60bln case.

https://youtu.be/_-C7AMd4PMI

2017.06.12

Recording of Ganbaatar, a participant of 60bln case

https://youtu.be/bRwGWIn0r6Q

2017.06.15

Statement by Amarbayasgalan, General Secretary of MPP

https://youtu.be/c3jGuNndy3c

2017.06.15

Statement by Batbaatar P., first deputy director of the Police General Office

https://youtu.be/d9Iv_Zp41B8

2017.06.15

Statement by Munkhbat, Minister of Government Secretariat and MP

https://youtu.be/Bcbr72ZzjIc

2017.06.16

Statement of Shirendev, Capital City Prosecutor

http://www.prokuror.mn/index.php?newsid=1547

2017.06.22

Explanation by Ariunbold, Sound master of Sound Grey Production, stating that Americans might have done the editing.

https://youtu.be/WCUkVTYpmY0

2017.06.23

Statement by Erdenebat J. Prime Minister of Mongolia

https://youtu.be/ghYqMk8QPHM

2017.06.24

Enkhbold M denial at the final debate on the National TV.

https://youtu.be/DY1wGZ2mTSo

2017.06.27

Post Election (1st round) Statement by Enkhbold M

https://youtu.be/FtgUyod3cvw

2017.07.03

Enkhbold’s preparation for debate, voice of Ambassador Bayar S on the background.

https://youtu.be/0ByXIVAPWbU

2017.07.04

Statement of Enkhbold in violation of Election Law.

https://youtu.be/-SH5sCzldk4

Source:

http://www.dorjzodov.org/timeline/

 

THE SAGA OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER IN THE 60 BLN CASE

The whistleblower, Dorjzodov, who is 42 years old, exposed the 60bln tape on June 17 2016, ten days prior to the June 2016 Parliamentary election using Google drive, Sound cloud and Twitter account “@noname_rainman”.  Over 600 viewers managed to see or download the materials from June 17-19, 2016.

Dorjzodov himself immediately became a sought -after person and his phone had rung day and night.

The most persistent callers were Ganbaatar, CEO of New Mongol Khaad company and Sandui, the Ulaanbaatar City chair of MPP.

Dorjzodov answered Ganbaatar’s and Sandui’s phone messages via a Mobicom group messaging system. Ganbaatar asked him to remove the link with 2min audio and asked him how much money does he want for that. Dorjzodov answered that he didn’t want to have money and he won’t remove it.

Ganbaatar kept insisting, for three days straight. Dorjzodov told Ganbaatar that he hadn't been paid for the technical work that he did for his company for 40 days in 2014. Ganbaatar immediately paid 20 million tugriks to Dorjzodov’s account but still insisted that he remove the audio from internet. However, Dorjzodov didn’t remove the links, instead he gave his account passwords to Sandui at 4pm or so, on June 19 2016. After only ten minutes since Sandui received Dorjzodov’s account passwords, all three links disappeared from internet at once, including all the links posted on account @noname_rainman.

More calls kept coming. Dorjzodov didn’t respond to those calls from unknown numbers; he didn’t seek protection from anyone, and he didn’t collaborate with any candidate during the election.

Ten days later, on June 29 2016, the MPP won the election with a huge parliamentary majority.

When the new parliament began its work in July 2017, one of the first policy changes was to dismantle the General Takhars’ Office, which was a newly operating Marshal’s service, whose mandate was to protect victims, witnesses and court hearings. The witness protectors or Takhars were introduced in Mongolia via lengthy legal reforms in 2014 and Takhars all over Mongolia had operated for a mere two years. And even during those two years, there were always lobbies to dismantle the office, but parliament members elected for the 2012-2016 term fought hard to keep these essential victims/witness protection services.

After the 2016 election, there was major government re-organization, with 65 of 76 MPs elected from the MPP. The opposition parties were too weak to stand up for the Takhars service.  Experienced witness protectors were either fired or sent to the Police force. The Police General Office opened a Witness and Victim Protection department which doesn’t enjoy the same trust that people put for the Takhars Office.

As the legal environment was darkening for witnesses of organized crime, whistleblower Dorjzodov’s personal security worsened.

Many phone calls came from the MPP authorities demanding answers. Dorjzodov fled Ulaanbaatar on June 23 and stayed in hiding, with his family, in the northern countryside till late August 2016.

When he returned to his home in Ulaanbaatar, Dorjzodov didn’t have a job. No one would hire him. The newly formed government was busy firing anyone who had been employed by the previous DP-dominated government. More than 23,000 civil servants were fired in one year.

On September 14, a car full of policemen stopped Dorjzodov 200 meters from his apartment and said, “Are you Dorjzodov? Follow us for questioning”. Dorjzodov followed the policemen without knowing what was happening. When he came to the police station, he was informed that he was a suspect of a criminal case for “illegal editing of an audiotape and publicizing it with purpose of racketeering”. Eventually, another criminal case was opened by the General Intelligence Office for using a spying device.  

Dorjzodov had a hard time finding an attorney while he became a suspect of a case after case. Attorneys politely avoided him.

[SIDENOTE]

[While Dorjzodov was being harassed and interrogated, another case was setting a dangerous precedent in Mongolia’s judicial practice, the unsolved case of the assassination of Zorig in October 1998. For the first time in Mongolia’s history, the key witness was banned from participating in the court hearing, and the accused persons and their attorneys were banned from discussion of their positions on public media. No victim’s family members, no witnesses and no accused persons and their attorneys were allowed to speak in their own defence in the Mongolian media because the entire case was designated a state secret”.

In such darkness and with a total absence of transparency, a new and cruel legal style was born: Zorig’s case style.]

Fear of Zorig’s case style became widespread, and Dorjzodov received threats that his case would be dealt with in Zorig’s case style.

Jobless, harassed and threatened by the increasing tensions of the upcoming Presidential election, Dorjzodov received yet another threat --this time his very life was threatened. “If my boss permits, we can just easily destroy you” Mr.Ganbaatar told him on April 5 2017.

Shocked by Ganbaatar’s brutal promise, he packed his toddler son’s and wife’s belongings on the night of April 9 2017. Early the next morning, Dorjzodov loaded his family’s possessions into a car that as to take them back to the relative safety of the countryside. He embraced his son and wife. Dorjzodov and his wife looked at each other, silently whispering to each other “take care...”.  He kissed his son and his wife. They both knew that it might be their last kiss… His cracked as he said, “Be safe...I love you...”.

When the family left Ulaanbaatar, Dorjzodov sent an email to several contacts, including Transparency International, Mongol HD TV and Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, MP Bold Luvsanvandan, and he posted the links to the 60bln case files online.

Dorjzodov confessed his fear for his life in a TV interview to HD Mongol TV station on May 6 2017 or so. This is the only station that advertises that it doesn’t air any paid material and doesn’t have a shut-up contract.  However, HD Mongol had never aired the interview.

Lost without a lawyer to advocate for him, he approached MP Luvsanvandan Bold and former MP Oyungerel Tsedevdamba in person on May 6, 2017. With the assistance of these contacts, his files were publicized on Twitter, in particular by Dr. Ann Altman, the wife of a 1989 Nobel Laureate. She posted the following links on May 7 2017:

excel https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ePhN4xs6sdUDlIVXgwNnhkX2c/view?usp=sharing
audio https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ePhN4xs6sddDlraVJiX19aeEU/view?usp=sharing
ppt https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ePhN4xs6sdVGdaay1RQnRoTFU/view?usp=sharing

Immediately, the material accessed via the links became a hot topic. On May 31 2017, the Democratic Caucus of the Parliament held a public hearing on the topic but government authorities refuse to attend. Civil society representatives attended the hearing in large numbers, and one of the lawyers attending the hearing publicly offered her professional assistance to Dorjzodov. She was attorney Baasan, a long-term fighter for the rights of aged Mongolians.

By the time lawyer Baasan offered her assistance to Dorjzodov, he already felt unsafe in his home. Baasan kept Dorjzodov in her apartment for two nights and then she, too, felt unsafe in her own home. Too many police cars and unknown men were parked under her apartment’s window.

Dorjzodov had continued to receive strange calls and suspicious invitations since he posted 90-min audio tape online. One such invitation was to meet with the Speaker of Parliament Enkhbold. Intrigued by the invitation to such a high-level meeting, Dorjzodov went to Encanto sauna to meet just Mr.Ganbold, an owner of Altan Dornod Mongol Co.LLC, and Mr.Munkhbat Jamyan, the Minister-Chair of the Cabinet Secretariat and MP.  Minister Munkhbat offered Dorjzodov one million dollars and any country and school of his choice, plus 2-room apartment, for a videotape in which Dorjzodov would say that all the tapes related to 60bln case were fake. Dorjzodov didn’t reject or accept the offer while he was naked in the sauna along with these two influential men.

After leaving the sauna, Dorjzodov disconnected his phone and decided to hide from the MPP dealers. His lawyer agreed that it would be too dangerous for him to give his true opinions to the MPP’s power dealers. Both Dorjzodov and his lawyer came to former MP Oyungerel for an advice at midnight of May 10 2017. Oyungerel was preparing for her trip around the country to work for the campaign of Battulga Khaltmaa, the Democratic Presidential candidate. Oyungerel offered her home as a safe have for Dorjzodov.. Oyungerel’s husband Jeffrey Falt, an American and a human rights lawyer, agreed to stay home with Dorjzodov.

Five days later, early in the morning of May 15 2017, Jeffrey’s house was surrounded by two lines of police officers. Around 40 policemen encircled Orgil Town, the gated compound in which Attorney Falt’s house is located.

Dorjzodov called his lawyer for assistance at 7 a.m. Lawyer Baasan tried to contact to Oyungerel but her phone was off as she was on her way to town of Uliastai from the town of Ulaangom. Baasan called to many staff members of the Battulga’s travel team and finally reached Oyungerel at 7.30 a.m. when her car arrived in Uliastai at the end of an all-night drive.

Oyungerel called home, reaching her husband who confirmed that there were many police officers lined up both inside and outside the backyard of their house. Within half an hour, Oyungerel had started spreading the word via her Twitter account, calling for the media media and private citizens to help protect the whistleblower in the 60bln case.

People soon started gathering at Orgil town but no major TV stations came. Facebook Live was the main source of information on that day. Volunteers came to help Dorjzodov. Khangsuren Avirmed, a pioneer for democracy, came in to Attorney Falt’S house to help protect Dorjzodov.

As the crowd grew outside Dorjzodov’s safe haven, many but not all of the police officers began to leave. It turned out that the police didn’t have any written order or permission to surround Attorney Falt’s home. While Dorjzodov’s lawyer was fighting for proper procedures, Dorjzodov answered questions from the crowd through Attorney Falt’s window.

Since that day, police have never left area around the house. At the time of writing, three to six policemen are watching the house 24/7. Democratic Party supporters are also watching the house and the police 24/7.

No criminal case has been launched against those who created a corrupt network to sell all the key government positions,

Thus, Dorjzodov is not yet a ‘witness’ to any crime that is being prosecuted. MPP officials have complained about and attempted to discredit the audiotape and Dorjzodov has been interrogated as if he were a suspect.

But there are no legal grounds for policemen to claim, as they do, that they are protecting a witness.

However, Dorjzodov remains effectively a prisoner under house arrest, accused of no crime, witness to no case, but threatened with death by the very authorities who claim to be protecting him.

 

©2017 Dorjzodov G.

 .