UPDATE 1-Centerra's Kyrgyz unit says working normally after office search

Tue May 3, 2016 3:23am EDT
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BISHKEK May 3 (Reuters) - The Kyrgyz unit of Canadian miner Centerra Gold Inc said on Tuesday it was operating as usual after prosecutors and state law enforcement agencies conducted a search at its offices last week.

"Kumtor Gold Company points out the fact that the Company is working according to its normal routine while (company) President Daniel Desjardins remains in Kyrgyzstan," it said in a statement, adding that two other senior executives who had left Kyrgyzstan after the search were on long-planned vacations.

Centerra shares fell nearly 9 percent after it reported the search last Thursday, saying it was to collect documents related to a criminal case alleging financial violations by its subsidiary.

The government has said it is concerned about a dividend paid by Kumtor to Centerra in 2013, Centerra said, adding that the dividend complied with Kyrgyz laws and 2009 agreements governing the Kumtor project.

The prosecutor general's office could not be reached for comments on Tuesday, a public holiday in Kyrgyzstan.

Toronto-based Centerra and the government have been in drawn-out, on-and-off talks on restructuring the ownership of the mine. The ex-Soviet republic currently holds a 32.7 percent stake in Centerra. (Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)